Thursday, September 27, 2018

Banned and local

It’s marvellous to see that Auckland's libraries are joining similar institutions in other parts of the world in marking Banned Books Week. Here in Ranui library this morning I’ve looked over a nicely presented table, which features books in blank brown wrapping and helpful explanatory notes. 
I’ve learned, to my amazement and sadness, that Harry Potter has been booted from many US school libraries, on account of his alleged Satanism, and that Anne Frank’s diary is banned from Lebanon, on the grounds that it might create sympathy for Jews. There are several books banned in the former Soviet Union on the table too. Visitors to the library and invited to remove the brown wrappers from the books, and read them.
I am disappointed, though, that the display doesn’t feature any of the numerous books that have been banned in New Zealand over the years. A famous example of our own banned literature is Jean Devanny’s The Butcher Shop, an alternately coruscating and titillating depiction of life and lust on a New Zealand farm that was removed from shelves in the ’20s on account of its author’s communist views, and her characters’ enjoyment of extramarital sex.
Censorship is not just something that happens in distant, benighted lands. 

24 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

The libraries do a good job. Anne Frank's diary is a moving book. However the Israelis haven't helped their case by their aggressive military and virtually fascist policies. On the other side there is an ongoing anti-Semitism. Zionism itself, which not all Jewish people support, is a form of "nationalism" and many of the extremist in Israel believe they are the "chosen people". So, I think we are entering a 'disintegrating stage' in human history where what we might think is "right" is long gone and probably irrelevant. I can understand the Hezbollah's struggle against Israel. However in all these struggles people are never interested in what liberals call "fairness" or "freedom". Their allegiances, either extreme Zionists, Muslims or Christians are not to those things. So the world, rather than connecting and organising for a "better world", that world seems to be increasingly fragmented.

I don't know 'The Butcher's Shop'. Are there other examples of banned books here?

Still some good stuff on here Scott. I remember the days each post resulted in a healthy reaction. Now you are inundated with Spam.

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