Are books dangerous?
That is the question asked by A BLOG ON THE WRITERS AND ARTISTS WEBSITE.
The definition of "dangerous" is, much like "right or wrong" - how I loathe the phrase! or "moral values" completely flexible and subjective. I am pretty sure that what I consider as being OK would send quite a few people into spitting and hissing fits.
Most of the stories my mum was reading to me every night when I was a little child are now considered as "dangerous" or "inadequate" (full of lying, stealing, cruel children and of course the usual diet of incestuous royal relationships, cannibalism, domestic violence, infanticide, gruesome murders, etc.). Oh, and some of them had princes and princesses, old-fashioned tales of downtrodden housewives and weak females, you know, the type that are now supposed to "show girls the wrong role models".
*cough* I'd be intrigued to see who those people think is an appropriate female role model? Bitterness incarnate Germaine Greer?
Now. I am the most non-violent and squeamish person you can think of – not for me grisly horror movies or the Dungeon of the Torture Garden – and I am quite proud to be the kind of woman who, er, is all but a victim of her sex, believe you me. I've never believed in prince charming and I can’t stand anything “domestic”. The books I have read haven't turned me into a victimised housewife with a penchant for gratuitous violence and perverted sex.
I am completely and entirely against banning books because, say, they are not suitable for Young Adults – Young Adults, pray, not even little children! As an ex-teacher, I have always been gobsmacked by the (faux) naivety exhibited by parents and people in general regarding “young adults”. Are they made of cotton wool? Are they so weak and innocent and pure that you need to ban some books to protect their precious little persons from the corruption of the big bad world? If only parents knew what their kids are up to behind their backs…
I grew up in a small town dead in the centre of France, where nothing ever happened. I had a rather idyllic childhood and I remained a rather “unspoilt” teen.
I was quiet, shy, artistic and politically aware, but more importantly, despite being all snug and comfy in my safe little world, I loved books. And I read loads of them. And not only children-orientated books… From the age of six, I have always had free access to the bookshelves of my parents, my grandmother and my parents’ friends.
And books taught me LIFE, because I wasn't going to learn about it in the real world, at least not just there and then. They taught me about THE WORLD. They taught me about evolution, the human condition, periods and pregnancy and birth – I didn’t like that bit at all! – love, hatred, sex, ambition, history, prehistory, other countries, other cultures, other civilisations, other eras.
After the age of ten - even earlier than that - I read adult books. I remember an erotic book set in China in the world of concubines – even then I knew it was badly written – or one in which a young French girl gets raped by a playboy GI in 1944 France and gives birth to a boy she then locks up in an attic. I read about the incestuous relationship of a brother and sister, I read Agatha Christie’s detective books, and so so many more.
This complete lack of any censorship opened my eyes to the world, shaped my opinions and taste, taught me to choose and to think and most of all, they inspired me to write, to seek self-expression in everything I do.
No book should be banned, all should be available to everyone, at any time, in any place.
People who ban books wants to narrow your horizon, hide things from you. They want to shape your brain the way they think is appropriate so they can manipulate you.
That's why they want to ban books, because they are AFRAID.
Comments are closed.
I think therefore I write.
All Art Books Cinema Culture Events Idea Ideas Inspiration Inspirations Literature Music People Places Promo Publishing Reading Reviews Self Publishing Self Publishing Self-publishing Society Theatre Thoughts Working Work In Progress Work In Progress Writing Writings