Professor J's Place

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.

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Anonymous 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!

October 31, 2007 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous fringes said...

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

October 31, 2007 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger 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.

October 31, 2007 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog ( 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.

November 1, 2007 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger The Grammar Snob said...

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

November 1, 2007 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous 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.

November 2, 2007 at 2:55 PM  

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