Since time immemorial, man has tried to control the thought process of others around him. So when I heard of Banned Book Week in USA, I was surprised. I mean, this is a country which prides itself on Freedom of Speech.
Even worse, the list of of books that were banned: To Kill a Mockingbird (which is part of my daughter's English studies, here in Pakistan.)
The Catcher in The Rye, Call of The Wild, Harry Potter, Gulliver's travels, The Lost Paradise, Gone With The Wind, Don Quixote...the list goes on; all form part of this illustrious club.
I remember when the hullabaloo over THE SATANIC VERSES, was at its height in Pakistan. The mullahs were howling for Rushdie's blood, excerpts translated and published to show the filth he had written -- I made a request to my dad. He was going onvacations to UK and I asked him to bring me a copy. The conservative Muslim that he is, he raised his eyebrows, but said nothing else.
Obviously The Satanic Verses had been banned in Pakistan.
Both of us read it. I can vouch that it didnt change my views on Islam or the Prophet. Of course, Rushdie had written things that had no bearing on reality, and in a language that was derogatory. But in a 500 page book, it came right at the end. And I could barely survive the nonsense he created in the first 400. It was an absurd book that shouldnt have been published. If only because of the low quality of writing.
So read a banned book and form your own impressions.
I have just started Nana by Emile Zola. It was banned in England.
And , of course, Sarah Palin has added to the fire. The story says she asked a librarian to ban certain books.
Some people never learn.