once again been thinking about censorship. I am against all kinds of censorship, in any form, yet cancelling an author's school visit because some stupid parent thinks one of her books is offensive is somewhat different from banning 90% of world literature on loose grounds.
In the country where I was born, the list of banned books would fill a library in itself. Just some examples:
The Bible was banned because "religion is the opium of the people" (Marx). All other religious books were banned for the same reason. All books by Western philosophers not featured in Lenin's article "Three sources and three constituents of Marxism" were banned. All books by Russian philosophers who did not subscribe to Marxism were banned.
All books by Russian emigrees were banned because they were enemies of the people. All books by relatives of the emigrees were banned. All books by Russian writers repressed by the regime were banned. The Russian literary martyrology - writers murdered, sent to labour camps, famished to death - carries at least 2,500 names, whose only crime was their words. All books by relatives of the repressed were banned. All books by people who protested against repressions were banned. All books that even vaguely alluded to the Great Terror were banned. All books that even vaguely expressed sympathy with characters representing the opponents of communism were banned. All books by the Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky were banned because his country had sent him to exile.
All foreign books that did not portray class struggle were banned. Ulysses and Remembrance of Things Past were banned bacause they did not portray the inhuman conditions of the working class under capitalism. For whom the Bell Tolls was banned because it portrayed the Spanish civil war that did not exist according to Soviet history books. All books by foreign writers who had made the tiniest utterance questioning the country of the victorious communism were banned. All books that did not show life as it should be according to the communist worldview were banned.
All books that had the slightest allusion to human reproduction were banned. That doesn't leave much of world literature.
Still, I repeat: I am firmly against ALL forms of censorship. Including cancelling a school visit.