Saturday, February 24, 2007

Banned yet freely Independent

Shortly going to pop out and get The Independent, which is giving away a free copy of Clockwork Orange as part of a Banned Books promotion. The paper did a feature about banned books on Thursday and included some interesting quotes by politicians and authors about the importance of free speech. Among the best was a quote from Alfred Whitney Griswold from the New York Times who said in 1959:

“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”

Mind you that reminds me of a quote from Stalin about ideas being dangerous: “We would not let our enemies have guns so why should we let them have ideas?” It’s for that reason those censoring books should be very careful.

Anyway I’m hoping the hardback edition of Clockwork Orange will have an introduction explaining the importance of keeping banned books in circulation. I’ll update this after I get to the newsagents…

UPDATE - very nice little hardback that comes with an introduction that sketches out a history of the book and the banning problems it had. But after getting something for free of course the catch is that the next twenty or so books in the series will each cost £3.49 each and will only be available in selected newsagents. Sounds like a lot of hassle for books you could easily get out of the library.

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