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Posted October 20, 2000
The Uncomfortable Wisdom of Forbidden Knowledge
Forbidden Knowledge is a wise and thought-provoking book. Shattuck bravely dares to raise an alarm at our increasing tendency toward 'moral myopia' and waning powers of critical thinking. In his pivotal, urgent chapter on the Marquis de Sade, which is NOT a call to ban or burn books, Shattuck wants us to go beyond a tolerance that calls for no moral judgment. If a book such as Sade's recommends the torture of children as a form of erotic foreplay, we must recognize the book as potentially harmful. We must LABEL it as potentially harmful. We can't elevate it to the stature of books we urge our children to read by 'rehabilitating' it to the literary canon. Shattuck's book returns a desperate concern for humanity to the study of the humanities. I had to rethink some careless assumptions as I read Forbidden Knowledge, reminding me that uncomfortable reading is often the most rewarding.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.