Sunday, January 30, 2022

Banning Books


Cartoon by H. T. Webster, 1948
New York Herald Tribune

1 comment:

  1. This sent me to Wikipedia for two reasons. I wasn't sure what the objection to Huckleberry Finn was - I knew in recent years it was because of the n-word, but back then there were repeated objections to the "coarseness" of the language. But the Wiki entry addressed the controversies. The Treasure Island entry lists no attempts to ban it, although a little research explains why they well may have. (Even if the language is opaque enough that
    I can imagine its buggerific meanings completely bypassing a staid New England librarian:

    Treasure Island? Anyone familiar with Prof. Burg's Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition ought to approach Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "boy's book" with caution. Sure enough, a few pages into chapter 20, the reader finds this shocking paragraph:

    "Right you were, Cap'n Smollett," replied Silver. "Dooty is dooty, to be sure. Well, now, you look here, that was a good lay of yours last night. I don't deny it was a good lay. Some of you pretty handy with a handspike-end. And I'll not deny neither but what some of my people was shook—maybe all was shook; maybe I was shook myself; maybe that's why I'm here for terms. But you mark me, cap'n, it won't do twice, by thunder! We'll have to do sentry-go, and ease off a point or so on the rum. Maybe you think we were all a sheet in the wind's eye. But I'll tell you I was sober; I was on'y dog tired; and if I'd awoke a second sooner I'd a' caught you at the act, I would. He wasn't dead when I got round to him, not he."


The Little Time Traveler

  Last fall, my adorable grandson, halfway between two and three years, was finally tall enough to look at the family pictures arranged on a...