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Topic: Classic pulled off the school shelves

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Subject: Classic pulled off the school shelves
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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A small town in Florida (Chipley) has just pulled The Yearling from their shelves due to "racial content."  Oh, please!  This is like Huckleberry Finn being challenged (which, of course, it has been).  I cannot believe that they have pulled this book from their shelves.  I pulled my copy from my shelves at school today just so that I could re-read it.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Not because it was banned, but I just added The Yearling to my TBR list, because your mention of it reminded me I've never read it.

One neat thing about bannings and boycotts is they tend to work in reverse - the things banned/boycotted usually get more popular. I guess Exxon was an exception to that rule, but I bet The Yearling gets more widely read if this gets media coverage.

Last Edited on: 12/11/09 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
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I just added it to my TBR as well.
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Here's the ALA list of most frequently challenged classics:  http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics/reasonsbanned/index.cfm

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,550
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One book the blacks hated almost most was Mr. Johnson. by Joyce Cary. Cary wrote from first hand experience, a lot of it. Mr. Johnson learned how to cheat from his white overseer and did it better and more cleverly. He was no Tom and the portrayal was quite sympathetic. Still,  they had heard somewhere that it was "racist" and denounced it roundly. Never could get even one to read it and see for themself. Very strong book, too.

Mama tried hard to censor my reading when I was young. Books that wouldn't fit in the house were kept out in the smokehouse where it was pretty dark. The absolute foulest of the foul, according to her,  was a privately printed 16 volume edition of Thje Thousand Nights and One Night. Plus Alladin's Lamp and other tales. I almost went blind out there looking for looking for the dirty stuff. The best I coud ever come up with were descriptions like "and he swived her till she swooned." Wow!  I did come to the firm opinion that it is a mistake to attempt to censor what the young read.

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Sure, there were (and are) adults who try to censor what the youngsters read, but there are also adults who are just plain ignorant of reading matter and its suitability or unsuitability.  As a half-grown girl-child, one Christmas, I received a book from my sweet Aunt Mary, who knew that a book would be welcomed by me.  It was the most beautiful book I have ever owned-- a red leather- covered, India paper, gilded-edge pages, with engravings by Steele Savage, and a red ribbon to mark the place one wanted to resume reading, and it came in a sturdy slip-case, too.  

Hah!  It was the unexpurgated version of The Thousand and One NIghts' Entertainment, translated by Sir Richard Burton.  Not the Welsh actor, friends, but the rascally old fellow who translated the book into English for readers in the Victorian era.  The story goes that he found great satisfaction in including literal renderings of the 'smutty' bits, by which he hoped to scandalize the Victorian readers and point up their hypocrisy.   I got some of my early sex education from that book!

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,550
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My version included The Thousand Nights and One Night. They covered about ten volumes. The title page Says, London, for subscribers only. It was translated by someone named John Payne. The whole series was titled Oriental Tales, and there are 15 volumes. I feel badly cheated because mine were translated somewhat differently.

Then again, I might have gone completely blind, but not from the lack of light in the smokehouse. :)