It’s been a while since I did one of these, but I figured I’d answer some questions regarding Banned Books in lieu of Banned Books Week just ending.
“Rules” are as follows:
MEET THE BLOGGER is a new feature I’m doing here on Reckless Indulgence to allow readers to get to know their bloggers (and, for me, mostly to pass the time). I always do a lot of surveys/meme-quiz things and then never post them anywhere. I figured, it would be fun to have a little section on my blog just for that purpose! Sometimes the questions will be specifically related to the topic of this blog. Other times… not so much.
This is more an exercise for me to try socializing with others than anything else. XD An avenue for discussion, if you will. You can definitely run with this meme on your own blogs. I have no problem whatsoever with that and would enjoy seeing your answers to the questions I post and answer myself! Just tag your post with the words: MEET THE BLOGGER and then link back to any of my meet the blogger posts so I can see what you wrote!
meet the blogger: banned books
1. Do you or have you knowingly read banned or challenged books, and what are your thoughts on them?
I have knowingly AND unknowingly read banned and challenged books from since I was quite little (often unbeknownst to my parents xD). Naturally, since I read them quite often, I am drawn to the topics and material within them. Often political, controversial, alternative, or “other”… these are the things that speak to me, that I have always been able to identify with and find camaraderie in, particularly in a world so bent on casting aside or breaking the different, unique, strange, or nonconforming. I found solace in characters who were different from the “supposed” norm, who loved differently, acted differently to how society demanded they act, forged their own paths, and made their own decisions even if it left them seemingly alone in the world or on opposite sides to all they’ve ever known.
Books like this are NEEDED because were it not for them, I would honestly believe I was the only one in the world who felt this way, who THOUGHT this way, who WAS BORN this way. Because that’s what society and tradition and most religions wants you to believe.
I NEEDED these books to keep me from doing something stupid and ending it all, because half the time I couldn’t imagine living in a world so bent on hating anything that didn’t “fit in” or “was like everybody else”. I needed to know that even if I’ve never met these authors or these (fictional) people in these books, that SOMEONE… SOMEWHERE came up with the idea, or felt the way these characters felt, or experienced situations (even if it was just in their heads) like what they depicted in their books. I NEEDED to know that I wasn’t alone.
Were it not for many of these banned and challenged books, I’d think I really was as alone as everyone tried to make me out to believe. So I am FOREVER grateful and thankful to these books and will always advocate for them and proudly voice my opinion on why such books are NECESSARY and VITAL and LIFE-CHANGING (life SAVING).
2. What is your favourite banned book?
Gods… that’s bloody difficult. I don’t think I have a FAVOURITE, namely because practically all the books I read are or would be banned/challenged/etc. and I love all my books so there. xD
I could list off some that I love, but then this post would get godawful long.
3. Have you ever gotten into an argument regarding a banned or challenged book, and if you did, how did you handle it?
Several times. xD Sometimes I can handle it well, other times I literally want to punch someone in the face. Especially if the words “I’ve never read the book, BUT I’VE HEARD–” comes out of their mouth. I swear TO THE UNIVERSE, if you say you want a book banned and you HAVEN’T EVEN READ THE DAMNED THING— FLJANFLDNLKDNGALDNAKLNGL
4. Are you an advocate for banning books?
Absolutely not. I may not agree with all works published by all people, but I do not advocate for the banning or censoring of books.
5. Have you ever read a banned book that you actually AGREE should be banned or at least hated the content within it?
To be honest, I try not to read books I KNOW ahead of time will be bad or have a negative impact on my mind. “You are what you read, what you see, what you surround yourself with,” after all. On such books, I simply have no opinion on because I haven’t read them. However, I have been surprised by some titles because I didn’t know going into it that it would support topics or political agendas I find unseemly.
With that in mind, there are a couple books I have read knowingly full-well what they were about or at least what people have said about them, simply out of curiosity or to be better informed. One such book was Mein Kampf, the 1925 autobiographical manifesto by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. Though I knew going into it what it was about, there were aspects of it that were truly surprising to me, and — had this been an apocalyptic sci-fi or something — I even found quite interesting at times.
But do I agree with its contents? Do I promote it? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Do I think it should be banned? Ehhh… that’s a touchy topic.
On the one hand, I absolutely do not think it should be PROMOTED, but I think in a scholarly setting it needs to be studied and dissected. I think human beings as a whole do not learn from their past which is why they are so doomed to repeat it. They would rather bury something unpleasant or unseemly, rather than study it and make the necessary corrections or implementations to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I honestly believe that if Mein Kampf were just to be buried and no one talked about it, no one KNEW about it, someone else in the future will emulate it or re-imagine it again and we could have the same horrific events occur to another group of people, nationality, ethnicity, or social class.
So do I think it should be BANNED… no. I think it needs to exist and not be buried because I think no one would like to see a repeat of past events happen to future generations simply because no one remembers or learned of the atrocities committed against humanity.
6. Have you ever considered writing a book you KNOW would become banned or at least challenged?
I have. In fact, several books sitting on my perpetual WIP would DEFINITELY fit the bill for any number of reasons. I think the only reason the ones I’ve already published HAVEN’T been banned is because they were are geared towards an ADULT audience. If they were YA books (which, I mean, they actually kinda are) I think every parent, judge, and child protection agency would be ALL OVER and banning left and right. So… yeah… >___>;;
7. Do you think censoring should be allowed in books?
This is one I’m QUITE adamant on.
If you wanna try banning the book… FINE. I don’t agree with you and will fight you over this fact till my last dying breath… BUT FINE. Try to ban the book.
BUT FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, DO NOT CENSOR IT.
I don’t even care if it’s something horrible and nasty and truly EVIL.
DON’T. CENSOR. IT.
You wanna know why?
Because if you censor out the “bad parts”, then you turn a “bad book” into a “good or at least decent book” AKA YOU CHANGE THE MEANING OF THE BOOK.
I mean… could you imagine someone censoring Mein Kampf and making it out to seem demure or “not as bad as it really is”?
COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE?!
People — TO THIS DAY — would be going around saying how Hilter DIDN’T want to kill the Jews or he was only trying to make life better for them by putting them “with their own kind” or… oh my freakin‘ god, COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE?!
THAT’S what happens when you censor.
You change the author’s meaning in order to make it out to be “not so bad” or “not so graphic” or “not so sexual” or “not so vulgar” when in fact, IT IS.