Tuesday, May 25, 2010

on banning

this time I don't have a valid excuse to have been silent for so long,except for ,maybe, waiting for having something to say, and that is debatable too.
The chairs and arm-chairs must be empty by now and the fire in the fire-place out.
Oh well, I'll just put on a record, a vinyl of course, on the old gramophone, and continue the rumbling to myself.
Summer is almost here(and by here I am not referring to Seattle) and I've been buying quite a lot of quick reads for it, trying to maintain a certain level of literature and decor (at least in the title and cover). I cannot swear on the content of every single one of them and I'm sure a couple of the nasty ones slipped through the cracks, disguised as critical essays, and gained their position on the white summer stool that I strategically placed next to the entrance and that nobody has shown any interest in, so far.
I have to say that it looks like, for this summer, people have decided to go back to the good old classics. The English classics, the Russian classics, the American classics,the French classics both of the 1800's and the 1900's, you name it,they are on it.
So ,out of curiosity, i went to check my reference book about the 100 banned books, to see which ones of the classics have been banned in history and why, and from a quick and superficial look at the table of contents I realized that just about each and every book ever written has been banned at some point in time and history for whatever reason matched the metality of the time.Even the Bible and the Quran didn't escape the sad destiny or brutal disease of banning...although now that I come to think of it, banning might be just what will keep our funny species reading: tell me I am forbidden to read it and I'll go straight to it.
What I really would like to have a peek at , is the list of books that are being banned right now and we are not aware of their existence because of it, and since at it it would be nice to scroll through the list of the big editors' rejections, the ones that don't even make it past their desks....just a thought.
I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new here, but if you want to follow the apparent trend of saluting the summer by reading or re-reading a banned classic, here there are a couple of suggestions taken from the "100 banned books":
Literature suppressed on political grounds:
Orwell's 1984, of course
Macchiavelli's the prince
Literature suppressed on sexual grounds:
Rousseau's Confessions
Voltaire's Candide
Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's lover
Flaubert's Madame Bovary
Boccaccio's decameron
Faulkner's Sanctuary
Literrature suppressed on social grounds:
Twain's Huck Finn
Burgess's a clockwork orange
Whitman's Leaves of grass
Kesey's Cuckoo's nest
Plath's the bell jar
literature suppressed on religious grounds (to which i suggest you get to in the winter)
Mahfouz's children of the alley
Michel de montaigne's essays
Kazantzakis' last temptation of Christ
Giordano Bruno's on the infinite universe and worlds
Darwin's on the origin of species
Rushdie's the satanic verses
happy readings....


  1. Dalla poltrona d’angolo in cui mi trovo non saprei dire se il salotto si sia svuotato durante la tua assenza.
    Oppure se altri avventori della libreria abbiano fatto buon viso a cattiva sorte, ingannando il tempo dell’attesa con altre occupazioni.
    Io ho trovato negli scaffali un libro di Mauro Corona, friulano di Erto in Valcellina, che narra di cani, camosci e cuculi e fra un racconto e l’altro, reclinando il capo sulla spalliera, come il vecchio grizzly dal manto grigio ne ho approfittato per concludere il letargo in un ambiente culturalmente raffinato.
    M’è piaciuto assai il tuo post sui libri all’indice e ho trovato anche divertente che a certe letture tu abbia attribuito una stagionalità preferenziale.
    Immagino che “ L'amante di Lady Chatterley “ sia da associare alla torrida estate e alla spiaggia con le tamerici della Baia dell’ Amore in Sardegna.
    Mettilo in valigia, così sarò costretto a leggerlo in inglese, però, se non capisco e ti rivolgo qualche domanda, non essere elusiva nelle risposte.

  2. Oh hi, you're back!

    I had fallen asleep in this armchair...

    I looked at your book list and was amazed to find so many of my favourites in it. Can it be by chance? Or is it rather that the best books are often the most controversial of their time? Take Lady Chatterley's lover: a masterpiece, but I have no problem seeing why it was banned at the time. I'm rather amazed it got published.
    Among my favourites here, Plath's Bell Jar (why was THAT banned??!) Nabokov's Lolita (a genius, Nabokov) and Faulkner.