A Piece of My Mind: It's That
The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from
restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of
~ Willa Cather
Can an author with reason complain that he is cramped and shackled
if he is not at liberty to publish blasphemy, bawdry, or sedition? All
of which are equally prohibited in the freest governments, if they are
wise and well-regulated ones.
~ Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4Th Earl of Chesterfield
We do not fear censorship for we have no wish to offend with
improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty
to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side
of virtue-the same liberty that is conceded to the art of the written
word, that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare.
~ D.W. Griffith
The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some
frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption
that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient.
~ George Bernard Shaw
So you should know. We may need to mark our calendars... September
23-30...those dates are Banned Books Week 2006 !
For most people, that week a normal work week. Nevertheless, to any
writer who is worth their salt, this is a call to arms. A black letter week
for all of us to step back and review our past.
I was talking to my friend Linda Akwa, who teaches high school English in
Iowa . She and I were discussing what books should her kids read during this
semester. She was taking feedback and suggestions from the other
English teachers, I just happen to be on her list.
I suggested the classic story "Usher II" from the classic Ray Bradbury
chestnut The Martian Chronicles .
If you do not know the story, let me steer you to the on-line
cliff notes. However if know this story,
you know it's a parody of the political climate of the 1950's. It is what
captures Banned Book Week best.
So until next time, Reach for the Stars!
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About the Writer:
Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in
175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and
reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery
Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and
many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN
Forum. View his web site at