Skip to main content

Day 249: Banned Book (one) Week (early)

[Prologue: If you haven't been here before, a couple of things about me. I rant. I post pictures like a fashion blogger (me and Irene in the same outfit). I post content like a person who can't stop talking about everything and anything. Welcome to Fur Earwig!]

Swapping between a trial, 1954, of a Japanese-American man accused of murder on a tiny fictional island in Washington state—a rugged, weather beaten, sublime state, sitting on the west coast of America and looking out to sea where nothing comes between it and Japan for hundreds upon hundreds of miles of ocean—and its precursors during post Pearl Harbour, World War II is where we find ourselves at the beginning of David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars. A multi-million copy bestseller, an award winner, a movie adaptation with an Academy Award nomination. A banned booked. A novel I am only half way through because I foolishly decided to start something new in order to participate in Sheila's Banned Book (one) Week (early) celebration of all things naughty and bad for us over at her Book Journey.

You probably (if you are old enough, and book-y) remember the success of Snow Falling on Cedars back in 1994. I do. You probably didn't realise it is number thirty-three on the American Library Association's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009. I didn't. Books get banned and challenged for all sorts of reasons and at the request of all sorts of people. In the Western World we, if we are not intricately involved, tend almost to scoff at the thought that people object to what we essentially know is free speech, even if we are not partial to any given individual work. In other countries the written word, freely expressed is a lot more dangerous. But what it all gets down to, fundamentally, is fear. Even if that fear manifests as our desire to protect. In 1927, Justice Louis D. Brandeis spoke about the (American) First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, saying: 'Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational thought.' (Cited from here.)

Irene               List_Addict

You can't protect your loved ones, or the whole world, from ideas you don't agree with. Ideas cannot be contained. Here comes a statement of interminable optimism and extreme naïvety, but why can't we just all get along. Oops, not that one: the best approach is discussion—open and frank. Snow Falling on Cedars' objectionable content, according to its detractors is sexuality and obscenity. (Read this great piece at Banned Book Awareness for some of the challenges it has recieved). It doesn't fall into the category of scandal that books like Lady Chatterley's Lover, or The Satanic Verses or Harry Potter does. A few schools in the United States and Canada believed its sexual content was too explicit for high school students. I have to say, half way in, I'm looking forward to when all these apparent racy bits are going to start, because so far there has only been two sex scenes, both beautifully portrayed, and one of the most romantic masturbation scenes I ever read, which lasted all of about seven lines and was a homage rather than any kind of depraved act.

People! These things are going to happen to your teenagers. Whether in knowledge or in action. Teenagehood is a new category of life-stage. Up until last century we had children, and then we had adults—nothing in between. And adulthood pretty much came with puberty. Making a category, and changing the tenure of the protection we shower our children with (on the part of many people), doesn't change the biological structure of the human body—just our attitude to it. Snow Falling on Cedars has a lot more to it, and some invaluable lessons which scream to be taught to the young people who will one day run our counties and exhibit our moralities. Lessons about tolerance and violence and doctrine. Lessons about beauty and love. About what it means to be a good person. In some ways I think schools should only teach banned books. Why read something banal when you can learn about what it is to be human, and all the conflict and disagreement that that encompasses. Get it out on the table and talk about it. This is knowledge that it is impossible to be a whole person without.

Rant over. Read Snow Falling on Cedars. It's beautiful and it's banned (in some tiny Canadian school somewhere in the middle of a tundra).


The Outfit
Dress (as a top, Tag-out): Op-shopped
Cardigan: Op-shopped
Skirt (Tag-in): Op-shopped
Belt: Op-shopped
Necklace: ModCloth
Shoes: E-bay, genuine golf shoes


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who wore it better?

Getting linky today with:

3a



pleated poppy






Comments

  1. Awesome. I have to admit I got sucked into your fashion show pictures for a while and wandered around your blog looking at the "You VS Irene pictures. That is fun!

    Thanks for being a part of the Banned book celebration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU! for hosting such a fun 9and informative) week.

      Delete
  2. I need to read it. I had heard of it.

    I will point out that it is a Catholic School here that has banned the book. Yes...I live in Mississauga Ontario...that little place out in the middle of the tundra that has some 6 million people living in it. (Mississauga is part of the Greater Toronto Area) And no we are not all backwards. That is the Catholic school board and some over-reacting misguided ultra conservative parent. Religion always messes up the world. And no, it isn't all barren tundra here. At least not out my window. That's okay : ) I won't mention a thing about the misconceptions of Oz.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear!! I thought I would upset someone, but I would rather it wasn't you!! I am sure it was three people who complained and that the other 5,999,997 of you are fully aware and open to discussion. I should try not to be flippant. I never said tundra was a bad thing! *grin convincingly* But yes, I would recommend reading it, it is rather beautiful and I've already cried a number of times!!

      Delete
  3. I just showed your picture to Amelia, she said "she's beautiful".

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your feedback and comments. I read them all lovingly and try to respond to as many as I can. At the very least I go over and see where you have come from. Love it!

Popular posts from this blog

Day 279: Entertainment and Wishes

I have brain-freeze from a three hours/three hours/ten hours-during-the-day sleeping pattern over the last three days twenty-four hour periods (that ole chestnut, again) and so even though it is not Sunday, I am getting in early and loosening the clenched up brain cells by cheating on topic ideas with Sunday Social. Their link actually goes up tommorrow so be sure to check back and see what everyone else had to say when Sunday eventually does roll around.

Q: What is currently on your wish list?

A: I need nothing. Nothing. So let's talk about want. I want to be able to find some amazing thrifted pieces on my upcoming (eight sleeps) trip to the States. Luck and fate will have a lot to do with it, but I would be very happy to find some, or all, of the following as well: a chambray shirt, a real bomber jacket (just got one that I had different ideas about when I bought it from SheInside—it's really just a fleece jacket), belts, a vintage leather jacket, more tutus, sumptuous f…

Wear 1: Dropped My Shopping.

Day One of three hundred and sixty-five pictures of Irene (left) and I (right) on the internet. We're using it as a way to develop or realise a fashion style, and as a friendly competition as to who wore it better? Like every journey or quest, this year's project will teach me a little, make me think a bit and lend me some laughs and enjoyment. I hope also to slowly make sure everything in my clothes closet and my shoe closet is utilised: even perhaps the bags and boxes of outrageous, or not, op-shopped (thrifted) items secreted in cupboards and under beds. Other hopes: fewer words (believe it or not), more pictures and time to catch up on unfinished blogs from the last three years!



I had my outfit planned, but as I dressed this morning for work, I, well, chickened out. I lost the cape and replaced it with a black cardigan. I thought my work colleagues would think I looked strange and slightly overdressed. Lesson One: I am not brave in person (posting a silly picture on the in…

Day 348: My Favourite Colour

Who: Melanie at Bag and Beret

What: The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show

When: A while ago (have I told you trying to buy a house keeps getting in my way!)

Where: At, around and in the vicinity of ACCA

Why: Do you even have to ask?

Who Else: B—— for the photos, Melbourne Bike Share for the props (although I did pay for that, and we spent so long riding around getting moving pictures that they charged me again so I am not really sure why I am telling you about them: this isn't a plug, except that they are quite cool!)

What the ?: Sunshine incarnate in the form of a yellow skirt travels the world searching for women, bold and beautiful, who make it their own for a day, or a week and share their own take on its joyous light with everyone out there who thinks that being an exceptional individual with the daring and bravado to walk your own way, strut your own stuff and be your own you is a good thing! That's my take on it, but you can read the full story on the link to the skir…