"I am playing with myself,
I am playing with the world's soul,
I am the dialogue between myself and el espiritu del mundo.
I change myself, I change the world."

Gloria AnzaldĂșa

31 October, 2007

Banning Books

As you might imagine, I'm agin it (as my mother would say). Pat Conroy wrote a lovely article for the Charleston Gazette in response to the banning of two of his novels at a Charleston school.

When I teach World Literature, I have one goal. Of course, it is important to me that the goals of my department are addressed in my class and how it is structured, but I really only want one thing. I want my students to enjoy one thing I teach. I want them to find one book or story or poem that moves them. I desire more than anything that a few of my students will remember an author's name and want to read more.

I once made the mistake of voicing that desire in a departmental meeting. The chair of the department looked at me with something like pity, something like disdain, and said, "You really are a romantic, aren't you?" I guess so.

But I love to read the words of this one former English student who went on to be a writer. I love his description of the affect great books have had on him. I, too, have had nightmares while reading Beloved.

6 comments:

wordgirl said...

I met Conroy many years ago when I was reviewing books for the local (Fort Worth) paper here. I absolutely adore him. I'm sure he wrote a scathing piece on book banning and I'm glad you've linked to it. Another Texas blogger! Awesome!

fringes said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Karen. Here is to blogging writers taking on NaBlo! Very nice space you have here...

Mrs. G. said...

I lurrvve Pat Conroy and will be heading over to read his article. My 16-year-old is reading Prince of Tides right now. Thanks for the link.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog (www.thewritingroad.com). I'll be visiting you during the whirlwind of NaBloPoMo! I love that you're a "romantic" when it comes to books and wanting to influence your students.

The Grammar Snob said...

Banning books makes my skin crawl. I simply can not understand it.

Ben said...

Good heavens. I don't want anyone but romantics teaching literature. It's bad enough when contempt for "the easily moved" is holding a chair in the other humanities. With that attitude seeping into Lit, I think it's time to respray for Freudians.