So for fun, I was reading a list of banned books. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Ed, my god! You do know how to live on the edge!” And I’d have to humbly agree.
So anyway, I’m looking at this list (and if you care to play along at home, the list can be found at Wikipedia, here.
I scrolled through the list and read the reasons for the banning (and no, I don’t read the dictionary for fun!). I find some of the reasoning rather fascinating.
I mean there are the usual suspects, because they contained obscenities, or being sexually explicit, or bashing a certain religion, or even for political views that went against the current regime. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain for instance, keeps being banned for racism.
But then, there are a few that just seem odd. For instance. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was banned in the province of Hunan, China back in 1931 for, of all things, because it was anthropomorphizing animals as having the same intelligence as man. Why would that be a reason to ban something? Makes me wonder if Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny are banned there, too. Probably.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was banned in certain regions in the United States, and the most interesting one was California because it made the residents look bad. Hmm. I’ll bet banning it didn’t make them look bad in the least.
But the most interesting, or perplexing, to me was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It was banned in South Africa because it had the word “black” in the title. Um, ok. “From this day forward, we ban the color black! Books and newspapers will now be printed in blue. Black Widow spiders will be painted green. (But sir, that will clash with the red diamond!) Fine, paint them all white then.”
And Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Cordimer was also banned in South Africa for “going against the government’s racial policies.” I imagine she must have used the word “black” one too many times.
I note that The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was banned in Lebanon because the Catholic leaders there decided it was offensive to Christianity. I might have agreed if they just deemed it offensive in general.
I apologize, Dan, it was a joke. Professional jealousy, really. One day I hope to have a book banned somewhere. To me, that is the sign that you finally made it.