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Thread: Banned Books: a hilariously depressing history of people missing the point

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Banned Books: a hilariously depressing history of people missing the point

    Educators thought Orwell's 1984 was promoting Communism. They thought Huxley's Brave New World made promiscuous sex "look like fun," and the book is "centered around negative activity." They thought the point of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-5 was to promote "deviant sexual behavior." People burned Tolkien's Lord of the Rings outside a church because they thought it was "Satanic." The history of banned books over at the American Library Association, in honor of Banned Books Week, is both hilarious and depressing, because it's really all about authority figures missing the point. Over and over again.

    The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
    The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
    To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Ulysses, by James Joyce
    Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
    1984, by George Orwell
    Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
    Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Animal Farm, by George Orwell
    The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
    As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
    A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
    Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
    Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
    Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
    Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
    Native Son, by Richard Wright
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
    Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
    For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
    The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
    Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
    All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
    The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
    The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
    Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
    A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
    The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
    In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
    Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
    Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
    Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
    Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
    A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
    Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
    Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
    Women in Love, by DH Lawrence
    The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
    Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
    An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
    Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

    The reasons given for opposing the books are listed here:

    Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century | American Library Association


    The 'Banned Books' list is a hilariously depressing history of people missing the point
    Rusalka and MmeVertigina like this.



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    Elite Member Rusalka's Avatar
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    In my teens when I was looking for books to read, I would look at lists of the most commonly banned books. It never failed. I remember being particularly enamoured with Catcher in the Rye and Catch-22. I've read most of these but I'll have to look into the ones I haven't. Except LOTR, I never could make it through those.

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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    Half of these books are my favourites. In Cold Blood. Just fantastic.
    Ain't nothing wrong with Ohio wang! - MontanaMama

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    I've read all but 6 of them. No one wonder I'm so screwed up. Damn you literature!

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    Half of these books are my favourites. In Cold Blood. Just fantastic.
    Gave me the fucking creeps.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    Half of these books are my favourites. In Cold Blood. Just fantastic.
    Absolutely. I have a very strong memory of my 10th grade english teacher talking very movingly about the passage that described how Nancy Clutter spent her last afternoon alive helping a younger girl bake a pie, and that it was Capote's sensitivity to detail that really made the book something special. We read Compulsion, as well, which is remarkable in it's own right.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I'm sure more than half those books were on required reading lists or summer reading lists for my schools from 6th through 12th grade. Dumb adults making sure kids turn out as dumb as they are?

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    Elite Member InigoMontoya's Avatar
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    I remember one year -- 2004 or 2005? -- "Fahrenheit 451" was on the annual Banned Books list. That cracked me up, and also troubled me. At the time I had a blog and wrote an entry, the crux of which was (in addition to employ discretion in your household, don't impose it upon libraries, and don't presume to be the reading police for anyone but yourself) "How hilarious is that? A book about burning books so no one can read them is on the 'banned books' list."

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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Call of the Wild? I think that was on my 6th grade reading list.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    ^^^ That was assigned reading in my 7th grade AP English class.

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    Elite Member Rusalka's Avatar
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    They have AP classes in 7th grade?

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Our middle school didn't have AP classes. I was in PreAP, which was the advanced track class for kids who planned to do AP in high school, and as far as I know, that was the closest thing to an AP class that was offered for 6th to 8th graders in our school district. I'm not sure how it works in other areas, though. Maybe some districts or schools do have AP starting that early.

    We never read Catcher in the Rye in school, and I actually just picked it up this weekend at my in-laws' house. They had my husband's old copy from HS, and as I started to read it I could see right away why it was excluded from our school's list. Many of the others on this list were on our required reading lists, though.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    We had a program called SP, and you could do 7th, 8th, and 9th grade in 2 years. They stopped it sometime in the late 80's. They still have an SP program where the classes are advanced but they don't skip the grade anymore.



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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusalka View Post
    They have AP classes in 7th grade?
    Sorry to necro this thread, but I came in here to start a completely different thread and saw that I never replied. Yes, in my school district, we had AP English and Math classes in middle school (I was not, and don't ever expect to be, in any kind of advanced placement class to do with math! I had to take remedial ALGEBRA classes (even though I aced them when taught by an awesome teacher I still keep in touch with) in college before being able to take the math classes that went towards my degree). I was in the AP English one from 7th to 12th grade ... and honestly when I got into high school, I hated it because all it was was picking apart things like "The Odyssey" and "The Illiad" and finding every little scrap of symbolism from every. single. line. And then analyzing that symbolism to death. It was like death waiting for the bell to ring.

    Our school district does things a lot different now, our grade school goes from K-5, then 6-8, then 9-12. My son's worst subject is Language Arts, so I probably will never know what the AP class placement for that is like now, although I know from other moms that even some of their grade school kids are in some type of advanced English or math classes). To this day, even though I'm a voracious reader of pretty much everything (especially history, geology, theology, astronomy, some weird obsession with Tudor England, true crime, blah, blah, blah ...), I dig in my heels when I'm REQUIRED to read something. I read for fun and just my love of learning, but if it's forced on me, I barely get through it (if at all) and don't enjoy it. Which is why book clubs are not a part of my life.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    In NY AP classes are only offered in high school, they are created by the College Board, and audited by it. Never heard of them in junior high. The official AP classes are only offered from 9th grade on

    Can courses offered in middle school be labeled AP?

    The AP designation may only be applied to courses offered at or above the 9th grade level which have received authorization through the annual AP Course Audit process. The AP label cannot be affixed to courses and transcripts prior to 9th grade. There is one exception to this policy: AP world language courses. These courses focus on linguistic proficiency and cultural competency, so in rare situations these courses can be successfully offered earlier than 9th grade among students who can already speak, read, and write the language with fluency. In summary, the AP Course Audit will only renew or authorize courses that are offered exclusively in grades 9–12, with the exception of AP world language programs.

    http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/faq.html
    Of course, we have gifted and advanced programs for junior high and grade schools, but AP is a special designation.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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