Monday, September 20, 2004

Banned Book Week, Part 1

Banned Book Week starts Friday but I thought I'd start early, by profiling some of my favorite banned books. (The ALA has a list of the most often banned books, and of course there is the indespensable Forbidden Library, both of which make handy resources. Check and see if your favorite book might just be banned!)

Today's banned book:

Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. Ballentine. Ironically, students at the Venado Middle School in Irvine, Calif. received copies of the book with scores of words--mostly "hells" and "damns"--blacked out. The novel is about book burning and censorship. Thankfully, after receiving complaints from parents and being contacted by reporters, school officials said the censored copies would no longer be used (1992).

This one is obvious, the archatypal banned book. So here's a bonus round, one of the oldest and most often banned books:

The Odyssey. Homer. Airmont; Doubleday; Harper; Macmillan; MAL; Oxford Univ. Pr.; Penguin. Plato suggested expurgating it for immature readers (387 B.C.) and Caligula tried to suppress it because it expressed Greek ideals of freedom.

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