Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Top Ten Censored Books

Today in Time, as a response to the removal of the work “n***” from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there is a list of the Top Ten Most Censored Books.

The full list - I cannot tell whether it’s in order or not but I do not care since nothing in the text implies a definite order - is:
  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  2. Lolita
  3. The Catcher in the Rye
  4. Harry Potter (the whole series)
  5. The Anarchist Cookbook
  6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  7. Candide
  8. 1984
  9. The Satanic Verses
  10. Brave New World
If this list is accurate, it makes Elizabeth Kantor’s claims in The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature seem on the dubious side even today.

Not one of the “most challenged” books is challenged for its politically incorrect values about anything like race (The Bell Curve, Why Race Matters, The Global Bell Curve) or gender (Why Men Rule). Nor does it include books by writers like Jane Austen and Evelyn Waugh whom Kantor claims support extremely politically incorrect ideas.

Indeed, more of the books listed are books that my brother says would be likely to be attacked by schools if Kantor and the PIGs had their way. My brother thinks that authors like Toni Morrison and Angelou whom the PIGs dislike would be banned from education if PIG-sympathetic people came to power in the US. I actually doubt that this would happen, even though experience suggests that the societies the PIGs do admire were by no means free of censorship.

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