Banning Books

Discussion in 'Tea Room (Book Chat)' started by jessica, 11 Oct 2016.

  1. jessica

    jessica Active Member

    It has just been another banned books week, so everyone's talking about Huckleberry Finn and Judy Blume :confused: being banned in the US. The UK tends to ban adult books, like Spycatcher and Lady Chatterly's Lover, but it always seems to be old books. The Telegraph has a top 20 and its odd because different countries focus on banning different types of books, but they're all old examples and I thought we'd kind of moved on.

    This morning I got this on Medium, about a book about a transgender teen being banned :( . I am Jazz and looked it up. There's some details here(why can't I post links? o_O), but if 9 of the ten most challenged books are about diversity, have we really moved on from the days of Huck Finn?

    What do you think about book banning?
  2. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    What. This link from the Telegraph.

    I'm guessing you missed the nice link icon at the top :p
  3. jessica

    jessica Active Member

    I was trying BBCode. I forgot about the button...:(
  4. Context

    Context New Member

    I think it's a redundant act in 2017. After reading the original post here, I did a quick search and within 2 minutes I had the PDF of Huck Finn on my computer. All 303 pages.
    http://contentserver.adobe.com/store/books/HuckFinn.pdf It's in the tab to the right of this one. If I had the time and wherewithal, I would print it out and send it to a library in a municipality that banned the book. It would be a counter-statement to their original one for the purpose of proving a point: You cannot ban books in 2017. Technology won't let you.

    Book banning is a political statement that serves no practical purpose other than telling the world what a bunch of boneheads the people are who are "banning" a book.
  5. Meryl

    Meryl Member

    I totally agree that trying to ban books in this age is a waste of time. Technology has gotten to a point where you just can't take anything back anymore as long as it's already out there.
  6. HattieMoon

    HattieMoon Member

    Banning this book may be an over-zealous nod to political correctness but the terms used in the book reflect the times it was written in. I would rather the people who called for or support the ban focused on how prevalent, albeit in more varied forms, the issues of oppression and slavery still are.
  7. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    I think the problem is that everyone looks at an older book with a very modern context, which is completely different to the author of the time.

    What always struck me as a better way of handling them would be to add a foreward explaining the story and its context. Give some reason as to why this book needs you to think about it instead of just blithely accepting its message.
    Quiet Sun likes this.
  8. Quiet Sun

    Quiet Sun New Member

    They should do that with the Bible so people quit taking passages out of context for the purpose of serving their own region-specific agenda's. It is a book, after all.
  9. Terry

    Terry Member

    Yeah and written with people's agendas, thoughts and understanding behind it.

    Are there any books that should be banned though? Not necessarily because people don't like what it may say, but what if it incites hatred or crimes?
  10. HattieMoon

    HattieMoon Member

    Terry, that's a really tough question. Take Rushdie's Satanic Verses for example. That book incited plenty of hatred and violent crime, so would banning it from ever being published, or at least shortly after it became obvious there was a problem, been the best route?
  11. Terry

    Terry Member

    Tricky one. The Satanic Verses didn't incite or promote violence and hatred, but provoked a lot of it. It was banned in a few countries, but this leads on to free speech and the right to offend etc. etc.

    Is the issue with that book that it offended a lot of people when we live in a more liberal culture where we may not like what us written but accept that the author has written it?
  12. HattieMoon

    HattieMoon Member

    Terry, I would say all (or at least, most) banned books share the common characteristic of raised threat perception, offending culturally specific mores. In the case of the SV this was linked to religion, whereas something like Lady Chatterley's Lover raised fears regarding sexuality, especially related to women. I am not totally sure how many books are subject to global bans, but it would be interesting to find out.

    To answer your question, I am not convinced. In my experience strong religious beliefs don't allow for much 'live and let live', or respect the notion of freedom of speech.
  13. jessica

    jessica Active Member

    I'm back and tanned (could we have a beach smily:)), and I can't believe how much this has grown:D:D!

    Books that should be banned? Tricky question. How ones that cause harm, like things that mislead or libel people? Kind of like yelling 'Fire' in a theatre. If "How to build a nuke from household chemicals" came out:eek:, I think that should be banned or restricted.
  14. Terry

    Terry Member

    I don't think that any book has had a worldwide ban placed on it and even if it did, chances are the British Library would still have a copy.

    I've known several people with strong religious beliefs that certainly abide by "live and let live". Most of Christianity is supposed to work that way. I'd say that when it strays into fixed belief, that holds against any questioning of the faith that you have a problem.

    Books like Lady Chatterley's Lover were banned for pushing boundaries and later overturned. I wonder if we should consider waiting 40 or 50 years to see if the world has changed enough for other books to be considered? Of course, you still have to look at the blasphemy laws and what they cover when books like The Satanic Verses come out.
  15. clair02

    clair02 Member

    I agree that religion is more about having control over people and it's also about people wanting to have a list of rules to abide by in order to try and avoid having unwanted things coming into their lives, but I do think that things are gradually changing at a pace that is steadily growing.

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