Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Dirty books

I was reading that last year an estimated 10,000 books were challenged in the US.
A book is challenged when someone requests it be removed from a library or that access to it be restricted.
This brought back memories of the successful fight against book censorship in my youth.

In 1960, Penguin books were prosecuted for publishing “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. According to the Crown, the book was obscene.
Penguin books were acquitted.
No other jury verdict in British history has had such a deep social impact.
This was the prologue to the later legalization of homosexuality and abortion, abolition of the death penalty, removal of theatre censorship, and reform of the archaic divorce laws.

Notwithstanding all this, I still think it is a crappy book.
When it was legalized, I was at a (boys only) grammar school in Brixton. There was a copy that went around the class. When it got to me, I did not have to read the whole thing, as the book opened of its own accord onto the salacious pages.
What a disappointment. The sex was boring and you had to be fluent in country yokel to understand what the “lover” was talking about;
"It isna horrid," he said, "even if tha thinks it is. An' tha canna ma'e it horrid. Dunna fret thysen about lovin' me. Tha'lt niver force thysen to `t. There's sure to be a bad nut in a basketful. Tha mun ta'e th' rough wi' th' smooth."

However, the acquittal did lead to the legalizing of better indelicate works. Henry Miller, for example, who even gives some useful tips in his writing.

Nowadays the banning of books is back again. Not only for the politically or morally incorrect content, but also for the perceived moral turpitude of the authors.
The clock is going backwards.

Time to stock up on “dirty” books.

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