04/02/2022  The U.S.A. is a land of contradictions. One of them is that while its constitution upholds the right to free speech. some local authorities and school boards are empowered to ban books. The most recent publications to draw attention due to coming under threat are Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Maus by Art Spiegelman.

While book banning is most often associated to authoritarian societies like Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany everybody has been at it. Wikipedia gives a list of books banned by governments worldwide. Based on sexual, religious or political objections it would seem it depends largely on the sensitivities and fears of the authorities in power.

In Britain books which give helpful advice to folk who wish to kill other folk have been banned - which on the face of it does not seem unreasonable. Though I suspect the reader would have a pre-existing motivation and propensity for murder to make it effectively dangerous.

All in all, book bans seem like a pretty dubious idea. Having read a good number of the books that have banned by one country or another I can name no titles that had a sexually arousing or politically radicalising effect - though confess to having my mind changed by Germain Greer.

Guess the assumption is that there are readers who are more simple-minded and suggestable than sensible citizens like ourselves. One would assume that those doing the banning have read the books but mercifully been spared the obnoxious effect they claim it would have on other readers.




Art Spiegelman on Maus and free speech: ‘Who’s the snowflake now?’ | Art Spiegelman | The Guardian


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Where would you find the River Thames?