Saturday, October 01, 2011

Banned Book Week Wrapup

Banned Book Week
Censorship Causes Blindness
For BBW this past week I will have posted ten times on the theme counting this one.  The other nine are listed and liked below.

There were seven book reviews, the last two brand new and the first five excerpts of previously posted reviews with commentary and quotes related to BBW.

I mused and occasionally ranted and rooted my aversion to censorship and the misguided overprotection of young adults in my personal experience as one who was kept so naive I was unable to function with competency once I became a legal adult.  And that in spite of my being able to make the President's List at college when I went back to school at age 27 the first semester and the Dean's List the second.

I'm not revealing that last in order to brag about my brightness as I discovered it to be fairly meaningless in the long run since what I had still not learned to do by age 27 was think for myself and was still so naive I continued to be continually traumatized by things I encountered in the real world which I had been so sheltered from all the way to age 21 when I got married and left home.

I was 35 before it dawned on me why this was and began my quest to learn to think for myself.  That was 20 years ago already and I'm still struggling.

When I wasn't preparing posts this week, I was reading.  In the first post and again in Monday's post I listed the titles of banned or challenged books that I currently had in my possession either owned or borrowed from friend, family or library or had access to online.  Of those books I listed I read in:

Aristophanes Lysistrata --the first several pages
East of Eden -- the first chapter
Twilight series -- the whole first books and some 40 odd pages into the second.
Milton's Areopagitica -- about 3 pages
Boccaccio's Decameron -- several pages
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales -- several pages
Whitman's Leaves of Grass -- several shorter poems and some browsing
I also reread many pages in both Speak and Nickel and Dimed while preparing the reviews.

I've kept my bookmarks in the classics and intend to keep plugging away a few pages at a time.  Except for East of Eden which is the only one I don't own and has a library due date and besides is modern enough in language I can read it at the same speed as Twilight without loosing comprehension.  Some of those others--Milton, Boccaccio, Chaucer--give me the sensation I'm reading algebra.  I had less trouble reading Russian by my second year of study.

My Banned Book Week Posts

Banned Books Week Begins

Book Banned Week: Review Repost of Lovely Bones
Sunday Serenity #247 The Soul of Books

Banned Book Week: Review Repost of Leaves of Grass

Banned Books Week: Review Repost of The Kite Runner

It's Monday! What are You Reading? #36 [Banned Book Week]

Banned Book Week Review Repost of The Bluest Eye

Banned Book Week: Review Repost of Impulse

Book Review: Nickel and Dimed [Banned Book Week]

Friday Forays in Fiction: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: A Review for Banned Books Week

Every one of my posts during BBW had several quotes opposing censorship following are some of what is left of the dozens I collected as the week began:
  • Every burned book enlightens the world.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Did you ever hear anyone say, "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?" ~Joseph Henry Jackson
  • To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list.  ~John Aikin
  • The populist authoritarianism that is the downside of political correctness means that anyone, sometimes it seems like everyone, can proclaim their grief and have it acknowledged.  The victim culture, every sufferer grasping for their own Holocaust, ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, for dilution, and in the end, as is all too often the case, for censorship.  And censorship, that by-product of fear - stemming as it does not from some positive agenda, but from the desire to escape our own terrors and superstitions by imposing them on others - must surely be resisted.  ~Jonathon Green, "Did You Say 'Offensive?'," as posted on
  • We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.  ~Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764
  • Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself.  It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.  ~Potter Stewart
  • The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas. — Carl Sagan
  • What progress we are making.  In the Middle Ages they would have burned me.  Now they are content with burning my books.  ~Sigmund Freud, 1933
  • Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.  ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935
  • A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad.  ~Albert Camus
  • To reject the word is to reject the human search.  ~Max Lerner, 1953, on book purging
  • I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.  ~Nancie J. Carmody
  • It often requires more courage to read some books than it does to fight a battle. —Sutton Elbert Griggs

Here are a few bookish events going on for BBW:

Hosted by Bookjourney

Get on the BANNED WAGON!

Giveaways, a scavenger hunt and links to participating blog's BBW reviews are some of what's happening at Sheila's BookJourney this week.  Along with her own reviews of banned or challenged books and of course her daily Morning Meanerings post.

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Banned Books Week Hop

Giveaways galore and lots of participating blog's to visit and comment on.

Banned Book Week Virtual Read Out

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

The annual BBW readout traditionally conducted in public at bookstores and libraries where individuals read aloud form a banned book has now gone digital. Now you can video record yourself reading a banned book and upload to a YouTube channel

1 tell me a story:

Mike Ka li st a,  10/02/2011 6:48 AM  

I still don't think for myself in the manner you address. There are two things I DO: 1)I filter through others opinions/insights and choose which of those to hold as mine. 2)I observe and see things others often miss and make insightful connections. --- I am not sure how close these are to thinking for myself. I am outgoing but not bold enough to stand on a platform and pontificate.

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