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Lunchtime Poll

LTP: 9/26/11

Happy Monday! It’s banned books week, so I thought it might be a fun LTP topic. Get your lunch/coffee (depending on where you are in the world) and your #2 pencils, then join me after the cut for the question. 

Here’s a list of books that have been banned at one time or another.  How has one of the books on this list influenced your life?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

4 replies on “LTP: 9/26/11”

After working for years in the public library system, I’m pretty familiar with the history of banned books in the US. I used to do a display and history presentation every year. Despite this, I was shocked, shocked to discover just recently that our school district banned Huckleberry Finn a couple of years after I graduated high school. (I worked in the public library in the same district.) It was just something that wasn’t talked about or publicized — I assume to keep controversy to a minimum. I only discovered it after looking up something about the high school on Wikipedia.

I would suggest that anyone interested read up on ALA’s list of the most frequently challenged books of the 21st century. (US-Centric)

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged/index.cfm

It’s not on that list, but Charlotte’s Web has been challenged at various points because apparently talking animals are “unnatural” or ungodly or some such. It had a huge influence on me when I was a kid, though. I read that book so many times you can’t even read the title on the binding anymore.

And I never kill spiders. In fact, I have one living in my car’s driver’s side mirror right now. Spiders eat the bad bugs!

The first feminist literary paper I wrote was on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was also the first time it ever occurred to me that there was something exceedingly misrepresentative about books that featured only or primarily male characters and never had female characters with, you know, agency or ideas of their own. I mean, it’s fiction, right? So you can even idealize a bit? And if an author’s ideal world involves women that are primarily complacent, silent, two-dimensional, and peripheral, there’s something really fucking wrong with that; it’s either an authorial bias and misogyny or an author’s subtle way of saying LOOK AT HOW WE DO LITERATURE! THIS IS NOT OK!

Anyway, Frankenstein was really important to me for that, among other, reasons.

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