Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds / Edition 2

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Overview

In 1961, the United States Supreme Court pondered whether D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover was lewd or literary. In 1969, the novel was required reading in many college literature courses. Changing sexual mores have moved many formerly forbidden books out of locked cabinets and into libraries and classrooms. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds is the first reference work to examine the issues underlying the suppression of over one hundred sexually "obscene" works.

Works covered include:
-- Across the River and into the Trees, Ernest Hemingway
-- Adam Bede, George Eliot
-- An American Dream, Norman Mailer
-- An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
-- Aphrodite, Pierre Louys
-- The Arabian Nights, Sir Richard Burton, trans.
-- The Art of Love, Ovid
-- The Awakening, Kate Chopin
-- Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
-- The Bell Jar. Sylvia Plath
-- 1984, George Orwell
-- November, Gustave Flaubert
-- Ode to Charlotte Corday, Andre Chenier
-- Peyton Place, Grace Metalious
-- Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence
-- The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
-- La Terre, Emile Zola
-- Ulysses, James Joyce
-- Verses, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Judy Sasges
These two titles from the Banned Books series include both fiction and nonfiction books challenged historically and recently on the basis of sexual and social content. The volumes share a basic format: an introduction (the same in each), stressing the importance of First Amendment rights; a foreword written by individuals representing First Amendment rights organizations; a preface by author Sova offering a brief history of the banning of books on sexual and social grounds; an alphabetical listing of titles included; the main body of the work which includes an alphabetical listing of challenged titles, plot summary, and censorship history; brief biographies of authors listed; a bibliography; a listing of works discussed in other volumes of the series; and finally, an index that includes all four volumes. Sexual Grounds focuses, for the most part, on adult novels. Familiar titles are found-Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear, Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Miller's Tropic of Cancer-as well as some lesser-known entries such as Kauffmann's The Philanderer (Simon & Schuster, 1953), Phillips's Susan Lenox (Appleton, 1917) and Donleavy's The Ginger Man (Seymour Lawrence, 1965). Many of the titles are older, with the focus on heterosexual relationships. Plot summaries and censorship histories are brief yet informative. Representing the YA genre are two from Judy Blume: Forever, and Then Again, Maybe I Won't. Both are classified as "young adult novels" although Then Again is almost always found in the children's area. Other titles of interest to YAs are Morrison's The Bluest Eye, King's Christine, and Keyes's Flowers for Algernon. Titles included in the Social Grounds volume represent a broader perspective. Several YA classics are discussed: Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Blume's Blubber, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Garden's Annie on My Mind, and more. The classification of titles is puzzling, however. Why are Garden's Annie and Wilder's Little House on the Prairie considered "young adult novels" while Go Ask Alice, Cormier's The Chocolate War, and Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia are labeled "novels"? In general the entries, which provide a good overview of the topics, are readable and thought-provoking. The information is documented (one error occurs in Sexual Grounds: Moorpark High School is in Sunnyvale, California, not Sunneyville) and there are citations for further study. As with any resource, some titles are omitted. There is no mention of frequently challenged novels read by young adults such as any of Norma Klein's frank YA titles, Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle, Hinton's The Outsiders, Crutcher's Running Loose, or Koertge's Arizona Kid. Despite this, the Banned Books series is a good companion to Hit List: Frequently Challenged Books for Young Adults (ALA, 1996/VOYA February 1997) and the annual Banned Books Resource Guide published by American Library Association. The Banned Books series is a scholarly look at challenged titles over a long period, and it is interesting to see what has been challenged and why. The series will be useful for reports and, especially in public libraries, will encourage some provocative book displays. Index. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds and Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds.
Library Journal
The aim of this four-volume set is to spotlight some 400 works that have been censored, banned, or condemned because of their political, social, religious, or sexual content. The entries, which include a summary, censorship history, and brief bibliography, range widely from Aristotle through Galileo and on up to Adolf Hitler and Judy Blume. Such well-known prohibited works as de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, the Communist Manifesto, and Huckleberry Finn are included here, but so are many other works that are now less controversial, e.g., Milton's Areopagitica and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Some of the censorship histories are several pages long, but others are very short; Born on the Fourth of July gets only 50 words. Though most of the works are worth notice, too many describe fairly vapid objections: Fail-Safe was challenged by a school librarian who thought the book would undermine "America's confidence in their defense system." But as one might expect, many of the entries, such as the one for The Satanic Verses, are harrowing. Prepared by well-qualified scholars who have written and lectured extensively on censorship, the set is a very readable gathering of much useful information. It provides more depth and is more current than either Anne L. Haight's Banned Books 1978. 4th ed. or ALA's Banned Books Resource Guide 1995. Index not seen.Peter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mt. Pleasant, MI
Booknews
Describes the content and histories of some 100 fiction and nonfiction works from many cultures and time periods censored on grounds of sexual content, illuminating changing attitudes toward the erotic through a survey of the legal fate of classic and representative works. Includes biographical profiles of authors. Part of a four- volume collection spotlighting some 400 works that have been censored for their political, social, religious, or erotic content, in the US and around the world, from Biblical times to the present. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816062720
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Banned Bks.
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface Ken Wachsberger ix

Introduction xiii

Works Discussed in This Volume xvii

Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds 1

Biographical Profiles 339

Bibliography 361

Works Discussed in the Other Volumes of This Series 377

Index 403

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