intellectual freedom

Banned books week

I find looking at the lists of banned books over the years interesting; you’ll find whatever the new and exciting title dealing with issues that often get challenged (sexuality, violence, language) but for the most part, you’ll find titles that pop up when they’re new and exciting and then just stay on the radar for years, some disappearing off the lists and then reappearing again.

These books however, feature some quite old challenges. I think my favorite is The Odyssey (Homer) which is the oldest banning on the list, dating back to the reign of Caligula for its expression of “Greek ideals of freedom.” The Odyssey doesn’t seem to get challenged these days, or at least not often enough to make it on to the ALA Banned and Challenged Books  section, (which focuses on the frequent challenge items) but books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) still get challenged today, and I suspect the thing keeping some of the others on this list off the most frequently challenged books list is lack of exposure rather than acceptance of content.

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