Monday, January 5, 2009

Forbidden Library

April DeConick at Forbidden Gospels may like the title of this website: Forbidden Library. This site lists books that have been banned or forbidden at different places and times for various reasons. You can search it alphabetically by book or by author. In addition, it briefly quotes the censors' reasons for banning these books, along with the site's author's own pithy comments on the censorship of such books. For example, on the banning of 1984: "Big Brother doesn't want people reading such things."

Or see this on Don Quixote: "Placed on the Index in Madrid for the sentence, 'Works of charity negligently performed are of no worth.'" Banned for a single sentence (in a work about 1000 pages long)!

Even Buddhist books have been censored. See this entry:

Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings. D.T. Suzuki. Doubleday. Challenged at the Plymouth-Canton school system in Canton, Mich. (1987) because "this book details the teachings of the religion of Buddhism in such a way that the reader could very likely embrace its teachings and choose this as his religion." The last thing we need are a bunch of peaceful Buddhists running around. The horror.

Anyway, take a look at the list. It is a who's who of great books! It seems if you are not banned at some point in some place, you are not doing something right! ;)

Maybe someday, you too may be banned and join this list of illustrious authors.

Too bad I didn't stumble upon this during banned books week.

See also Banned Books Online, which categorizes by reason banned and then gives you a link to the full text of the book!

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