• 重庆英语培训:国外所谓禁书的影响
  • 2014/6/9 9:18:30
  • “禁书”一词的奇妙之处在于,它总是让人在望而却步的同时产生无限的遐想与向往。纵观历史,书之被禁,虽原因各异,却无一不是触犯或挑战了当时社会生活或宗教信仰的敏感“部位”。从1557年罗马教皇保罗四世颁布《教廷禁书目录》至1966年教皇保罗六世终止该目录的出版发行,西方社会以教廷为代表的禁书制度前后延续了四个多世纪。然而,经历了历史长河洗礼的被禁之书,却并未因此而销声匿迹。那么,究竟有哪些书曾历经被禁的命运与焚烧的考验而不“死”呢?我们且来略数一二——

    This classic French satire lampoons all things sacred—armies, churches, philosophers, even the doctrine of optimism itself. In search of “the best of all possible worlds”, Voltaire’s ever-hopeful protagonist instead encounters the worst tragedies life has to offer and proceeds to describe each in a rapid, meticulous and matter-of-fact way. The effect is equal parts hilarious and shocking. The Great Council of Geneva and the administrators of Paris banned it shortly after its release, although 30,000 copies sold within a year, making it a best seller. In 1930, U.S. Customs seized Harvard-bound copies of the book, and in 1944, the U.S. Post Office demanded that Candide be dropped from the catalog for major retailer Concord Books.


    In 1885, the Concord Public Library in Massachusetts banned this book for its “coarse language”—critics deemed Mark Twain’s use of common slang as demeaning and damaging. Little Women author Louisa May Alcott lashed out publicly at Twain, saying, “If Mr. Clemens [Twain’s original name] cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses, he had best stop writing for them.” In 1905, the Brooklyn Public Library in New York followed Concord’s lead, banishing the book from the building’s juvenile section with this explanation: “Huck not only itched but scratched, and that he said sweat when he should have said perspiration.” Twain enthusiastically fired back, and once said of his detractors: “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” Luckily for him, the book’s fans would eventually outnumber its critics. “It’s the best book we’ve had,” Ernest Hemingway proclaimed. “All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”


    Huxley’s 1932 work—about a drugged, dull and mass-produced society of the future—has been challenged for its themes of sexuality, drugs and suicide. The book parodies H.G. Wells’ utopian novel Men Like Gods and expresses Huxley’s disdain for the youth-and-market-driven culture of the American. Chewing gum, then as now a symbol of America’s teenybopper shoppers, appears in the book as a way to deliver sex hormones and subdue anxious adults. In Huxley’s vision of the 26th century, Henry Ford is the new God (worshippers say “Our Ford” instead of “Our Lord”), and the carmaker’s concept of mass production has been applied to human reproduction. As recently as 1993, a group of parents attempted to ban the book in Corona-Norco, Calif., because it “centered around negativity”.

    It’s both ironic and fitting that 1984 would join the American Library Association’s list of commonly challenged books, given its bleak warning of totalitarian censorship. Written in 1949 by British author George Orwell while he lay dying of tuberculosis, the book chronicles the grim future of a society robbed of free will, privacy and truth. The book spawned terms like “Big Brother” and “Orwellian”, which continue to appear in pop culture. The year 1984 may have passed, but the book’s message remains as relevant as ever.


    The Catcher in the Rye
    By J. D. Salinger
    Within two weeks of its 1951 release, J.D. Salinger’s novel rocketed to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Ever since, the book—which explores three days in the life of a troubled 16-year-old boy—has been a “favorite of censors since its publication,” according to the American Library Association. In 1960, school administrators at a high school in Tulsa, Okla., fired an English teacher for assigning the book to an 11th grade class. Another community in Columbus, Ohio, deemed the book “anti-white” and formed a delegation to have it banned from local schools. One library banned it for violating codes on “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and anything dealing with the occult.”


    First published in France by a pornographic press, this 1955 novel explores the mind of a self-loathing and highly intelligent pedophile named Humbert, who narrates his life and the obsession that consumes it: his lust for “nymphets” like 12-year-old Dolores Haze. French officials banned it for being “obscene”, as did England, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. Today, the term Lolita has come to imply an oversexed teenage siren, although Vladimir Nabokov, for his part, never intended to create the association. In fact, he nearly burned the manuscript in disgust, and fought with his publishers over whether an image of a girl should be included on the book’s cover.


    This book sparked riots around the world for what some called a blasphemous treatment of the Islamic faith (throughout the book, the Prophet Muhammad is referred to as Mahound, the medieval name for the devil). In 1989, five people died in riots in Pakistan and a stone-throwing mob injured 60 people in India. Although Rushdie issued an apology, Iranian spiritual leader Khomeini publicly condemned the Indian-British author to death, putting a $1 million bounty on his head. While European nations recalled their diplomats from Tehran, some Muslim authors, like Nobel Prize–winner Naguib Mahfouz, defended Rushdie and accused the Khomeini of “intellectual terrorism”. Meanwhile, Venezuelan officials threatened anyone who owned or read the book with 15 months of prison. Two major U.S. booksellers—Walden Books and Barnes & Noble—removed the book from their shelves after receiving death threats. And even Rushdie’s publisher, Viking Penguin, was forced to temporarily close its New York City office to improve security. Under the protection of British authorities, Rushdie lived in hiding for nearly a decade.

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