In the West, all long been clear that the fires do not burn books. Inquisitors centuries burned works of Homer and Boccaccio, and get rid of them was only at the end of XX century. And a very different way.
A typical example — Brunswick County, Texas. For the nine-tenths of its inhabitants names of Homer, Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer and Moliere — an empty phrase. Illiteracy is easily explained. For several decades, the county operates an order prohibiting hold in public and school libraries in the book "scabrous or questionable" content. In addition, schools allowed to use textbooks that mention such works and their authors. In the list of "obscene or questionable" than "Lady Chatterley's Lover" DH Lawrence included "The Iliad", "Decameron", "The Canterbury Tales", "The Divine Comedy" and "Tartuffe." Similar lists, supplemented by the works of Shakespeare, there are many other U.S. states.
Word for word
Sly censors books do not burn. They re-write them. And achieve phenomenal results.
In the beginning of the XIX century, the British scholar Bowdler released redacted Works of William Shakespeare. This collection, proudly claimed the editor, without the slightest inconvenience can read the whole family. All of the "obscene" places in comedies, tragedies and sonnets of Shakespeare were carefully blacked out. However, labor Bowdler bought up slightly. Readers — even those of them who welcomed the idea of adapting Shakespeare — did not like that of the changes stated too loudly. "There is this kind of hypocrisy" — then said one of the members of the House of Lords. In the end, almost all copies destroyed boudlerovskogo edition of Shakespeare. Above Ph.D. laughed, and in English there was one word — bowdlerize, meaning "throw (of books, plays, etc.) all undesirable."
Now … the winning country boudlerizatsii safely be called the United States of America. Blame political correctness. Well, could not the authors of children's books of the century, such as "The Travels of Dr. Doolittle" (the prototype of our "Dr. Dolittle"), suggests that at the end of XX century, one of the characters — the parrot Polynesia — will be absolutely obscene. It is too often uses the word "nigger" and "little black". And now in school libraries United States' Travel Doctor Dolittle "will not find the day the fire. There is a book "The History of Doctor Dolittle," in which the parrot Polynesia screaming is something completely different.
Americans have succeeded in censorship cases more than others. Not immediately, of course — to interfere with the First Amendment of the Constitution, which proclaims the freedom of speech. Therefore, the real hero of the American censors became one Anthony Comstock. The identity we have a completely unknown, and in America — familiar to all who in any way associated with book publishing, from writers to booksellers.
At the end of the last century Comstock created the "Society against vice", the slogan of which was "Books are only brothels" and "morally superior to art." In the U.S. Congress, where Comstock asked to listen to his arguments (in fact, too many in the United States at that time there was a reprehensible literature, take at least a "Leaves of Grass" Whitman or "Scarlet letter" Hawthorne), but could not do anything: the first amendment among other things, prohibits laws that restrict freedom of expression.
But Comstock figured out how to circumvent the Constitution. The draft Federal Law on the Suppression of Vice, presented by Comstock, did not impose censorship and banned books. It simply prohibits the use of the U.S. mail to send "objectionable" literature. Such use was declared a federal crime, the sender and the recipient went to prison, and the object of delivery destroyed without violating the First Amendment. Comstock trick was that in those days without federal post establish the distribution of books was impossible.
To monitor the implementation of the law was administered, of course, not a censor, and a special postal inspector. He received the sole right to decide what counts as "reprehensible" and take immediate action.
Congressmen discussed the bill only half an hour and enthusiastically adopted it. The post of Inspector, of course, have appointed himself Comstock.
List of authors banned by the "law of the Comstock," is impressive. Aristophanes, Chaucer, Boccaccio, Balzac, Hugo, Wilde, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Nabokov … just the first forty years of the law were arrested 3,500 people, destroyed 120 tons of books and magazines. The law is not repealed until now, however, in the 1960s, postal inspector lost the right to unilaterally decide on the "reprehensible" books.
Book after book
Nevertheless, the United States remains a country where censorship acts almost uncontrollably. For the simple reason that she was not officially exist, and therefore, it is not regulated.
In the same district of Brunswick school program, and hence of the school library was excluded Herman Melville's classic novel "Moby Dick." Making a decision, school censors (sorry — the members of the supervisory board of school) were guided by the fact that there is nothing in the book about Texas, but there are harsh words, which means that it is completely useless. In general, the presence of harsh words are widely used in the U.S. as an excuse to ban a particular book. For example, "American Heritage Dictionary" — one of the best dictionaries of American English, which is now banned in several schools in Alaska. In California, he was lucky to even less in one of the districts in the state, he was removed from all public libraries.
However, rudeness — not the only reason. The classic novel "The Scarlet Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne's banned because of "incompatibility with the values accepted in society." For the same reason, banned in several U.S. cities was Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." And the "Twelfth Night" by Shakespeare banned because it promotes homosexuality and, therefore, can not be in the public libraries: they can read her children.
Generally, the care of children and young people — the trump card censors. American schoolchildren are very fond of stories about the French elephant calf named Babar. This touching pachyderm being, however, it seemed to some harmful vigilant citizens. First of all, the book is too much violence: Mother elephant killed. Second, the book promotes incest: Babar welcomes all the elephants with the words "Hello, brother," or "Hey, sis!" And then one of the "sisters" becomes his wife. Third and finally, lifestyle Babar provokes in children a passion for "Binge" as the elephant rich. It is not difficult to guess that the book has now become virtually impossible — neither in school nor in the nursery or in the children's departments of libraries not find her.
The Old Testament pulled from school libraries in two dozen states due to the presence in it of "sexual and violent scenes." The excessive cruelty caused the ban in some schools of fairy tales by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. "Baron Munchausen," "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Romeo and Juliet" are prohibited because of the "wrong orient youth" (Munchausen's lying, Caulfield antisocial and lovers Romeo and Juliet — minors). "The Diary of Anne Frank" — for what it is used several times a curse, "Damn."
Especially in America goes to the works of Mark Twain. "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" driven from one state after another. The reasons very different. First, the book was considered antisocial Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in particular — naughty boys, but because nothing good can not teach children. Now another problem — racism. Representatives of the African-American organizations of America estimated that in the first 35 pages of the adventures of Huck Finn, the word "nigger" is used 39 times. Naturally, many schools and districts have banned the book.
According to the number of bans in the United States is second only to Mark Twain to Ray Bradbury. Special attention censors uses the novel "Fahrenheit 451" is just telling about the future in which books are banned altogether. Firefighters were doing is not extinguishing the fire, and the burning of books.
In the epilogue to "Fahrenheit 451," Bradbury says that the world is full of people who are willing to burn books. And advises them not to ban his books, and to write your own. "It's a crazy world. And it will be even crazier if we allow minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world — it is a playground for everyone, where everyone can create or abolish laws. But my book — a territory where their rights end and where there are only my requirements. " The world will not listen Bradbury. World chose to ban it.
Children's books, banning and / or uncensored
1. "Red Riding Hood" (Charles Perrault), the presence of violence and cruelty.
2. "Snow White" (Brothers Grimm), the presence of violence and cruelty.
3. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain); antipedagogical book.
4. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain); racism.
5. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (H. Beecher Stowe) racism.
6. "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (C. Collodi), the presence of violence and cruelty, asocial book.
7. "Alice in Wonderland" (Lewis Carroll), "animals can not smoke and talk to human voices."