August 14, 2017

Oddities of all Kinds - The Parthenon of Books

                  There's a famous quote attributed to Ray Bradbury. He says, "A book is a loaded gun!" The idea is that a book may be dangerous and thus parents  or officials need  to protect readers from coarse language, sexual themes, or other perceived offenses. Sometimes even political or religious themes are considered inadequate for the people of a country to read as it might give them ideas of what happens beyond their borders. (It happened around here in a not so long ago past.) 
                 Can you imagine that famous novels like The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter series belong to the list of banned books?
                 However such books are, from time to time, brought to the people's attention by various actions.



                In Kassel, Germany, the art exhibition documenta 14 is displaying a replica of the Greek Parthenon made of steel, plastic sheeting, and over 100,000 banned books.

                  Built behind the Fridericianum museum, where Nazis burned some 2,000 books as part of their “Campaign against the Un-German Spirit” in 1933, this is considered as “a symbol of opposition to the banning of writings and the persecution of their authors,” a kind of celebration of the written word and its threat to those in power.
                  The artist behind the project, Marta Minujín, has used banned books in her work: in 1983, she built   El Partenón de libros after the fall of the U.S.-supported military junta in her native Argentina. This Parthenon featured all of the books that the junta government had banned. After five days, Argentinians were encouraged to take titles from the installation and bring them home.
                    In preparation for the installation in Kassel, the art festival requested that authors, publishers, and individuals donate their banned books. With the help of professors and students from the University of Kassel, a list of 70,000 banned books was compiled. It includes titles like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Alchemist, The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity, The Poet in New York, The Sorrows of Young Werther, The Metamorphosis, The Satanic Verses, and The Grapes of Wrath.
                  Have you read any of the books mentioned in the  list above? Do you consider them dangerous? 


10 comments:

  1. Interesting monument. People in power should be nervous about some things. It keeps them more grounded and focused on their true position and not some agenda they created after obtaining power.

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    1. True, but unfortunately, the moment they grab the power they look down upon common people who, all of a sudden, become "small fry."

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  2. Kudos to Marta for standing up to what she believed in. Its such a sad commentary when books are banned. Our schools banned a number of great literary works too.
    You always find the most interesting topics to blog on.
    Hope you're having a wondrous, productive and pleasant day, my friend. Congrats on DM being book of the week!

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    1. Thank God for courageous people like her!
      Such things - banning or even worse, destroying books - keep happening all over the world in all time eras.
      Thanks for the congratulations! It was a pleasant surprise, I must admit.

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  3. I've not read any of the books you mentioned, but it amazes me the titles that end up on banned books lists. I once had a story I wrote for an online forum censored by the woman who ran it. She never told me, just went ahead and changed my writing to remove passages she considered offensive. It was an eyeopener. When I confronted her and told her to pull my work completely, she apologized and changed everything back.

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    1. So you met censorship, first hand! Hm! all is so subjective and depending on others' whims and tastes.
      I told you what happened to my first novel that was criticized on contrary points. What some praised, others found as negative. De gustibus, as always.
      Thank you for checking the post!

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  4. I've never read the Harry Potter series, but so many folks love it that it's on my list.
    You have a great one.
    Hugs,

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    1. I must confess I haven't either. I just played some PC games made from the books.
      Hugs back!

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  5. I adore many of the banned books. As a librarian, I saw so many requests to remove books from the library. It's wonderful that libraries can be a place to find books from a to z. We had a saying that a book isn't worth its salt until someone objects to it.

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    1. How right you are Flossie! Thank you for checking the post!

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