I wasn’t really sure what to pull for my random three post today, but after all the talk on books that have been challenged or banned, this seemed like a logical and very easy road to take. So, no particular reason for me pulling these titles other than the fact that they are considered classics in my mind. Books that I remember being controversial when I was growing up that surprised me then and still surprise me now. These are authors that we have put on pedestals, who have been studied and are praised as greats among the literati of the world.
It was very hard to even narrow it down to just these three. I mean Webster’s was on there as being banned at one time or another. Whoever heard of a dictionary being banned?
Student: “Excuse me teacher, what does transmogrification mean?”
Teacher: “Well I would tell you to use the dictionary but it’s been banned. Sorry. The people have spoken and the meanings of words are no longer important.”
Okay that was a bit overkill, I’ll admit. It’s what came to mind though when I saw two different dictionaries on the list. Lets not forget other great pieces of literature…banned because they paint an all too truthful picture of what life was like back in the day. Books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Books that deal with difficult issues like The Bell Jar, in which the main character deals with mental illness and suicide attempts, or I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou because of its mention of rape.
Way over my three post but obviously as an author, it becomes very easy to find great works that have met with controversy. In all likelihood that controversy helped spur that book to greatness and cement its place in literary history. Books today still face these challenges. Moments when people choose to not look at the bigger picture or when they simply are speaking from a misinformed position. Even books like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings have had their moment on the mat. So there you have it. My should-have-gotten- off-my-soap-box-after-three post for Thursday.