List of banned books – The myriad reasons for banning these literary works will both shock and surprise…Alice in Wonderland made it to the list .. find out why…

Often, books fall prey to the convoluted viewpoints of the power that be who because of their convoluted sense of authority and power believe they should control what the public reads.  Unfortunately, this completely undermines any sense of autonomy on the part of the reader and also the freedom of speech and expression. Banning books is just another instrument to uphold the status quo and bar any alternative and marginal viewpoints to emerge on the mainstream level.

banned book list List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

Let’s take a look at just a tiny fraction of the books that were banned in the past and in recent times for myriad reasons:

1) Alice in Wonderland

It was banned in Hunan Province in China in 1931. The reason: The governor thought that it was unnatural for animals to speak.

alice in wonderland talking rabbit List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

 

2) Burger’s Daughter

Recently passed away Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer was known for her stories challenging the apartheid in South Africa. For precisely that reason, this novel was banned in 1979.

burgers daughter book banned List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

3) Da Vinci Code

No one was ready to take Dan Brown’s thriller as it was: a work of fiction! Everyone took it seriously for its portrayal of Christianity and Jesus. It was banned in Lebanon in 2004. It was even banned in Nagaland in 2006!

da vinci code banned List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

4) Animal Farm

The book by George Orwell was banned in USSR till the 1980s’ and also in the US for communist material.

animal farm book List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

5) Origin of Species

Charles Darwin’s book was banned in his own college, Trinity for challenging the emergence of life and therefore God. It was banned in 1935 in Yugoslavia as well.

charles darwin List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

6) Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Banned on its publication in 1852 in the American South. The reason: anti-slavery propaganda.

uncles tom cabin book List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

7) Fahrenheit 451

The author, Ray Bradbury, would never have thought that his dystopian novel about censorship in the future would itself be censored! It was banned in the 1990s’ for its questionable themes!

ray bradbury 451 List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

8) Black Beauty

Anna Sewell wrote this novel with a single purpose of showing to the world the ill treatment of horses. But the Apartheid South African government thought otherwise and promptly banned the book for having the word, ‘black’ in its title.

black beauty List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

9) Satanic Verses

No “banned book list” is complete without the mention of this book by Salman Rushdie. It was banned in several countries for being blasphemous and hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims. In his autobiography Salman Rushdie writes that the ban on his book in India came, improbably, from the finance ministry, under section 11 of the Customs Act, which prevented the book from being imported and weirdly enough the finance ministry stated that the ban ‘did not detract from the literary and artistic merit’ of this work.

satanic verses bradford List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

10) Amores

It is a collection of love poems by the Roman author, Ovid. It seems that banning books is not a new phenomenon. This collection was banned by Emperor Augustus about 2000 years ago!!!

amores ovid List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

11) The Prince

Hailed by many as an excellent political treatise, the Catholic Church however simply dismissed this book by Machiavelli as an evil work and banned it after 1532.

prince banned book List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

12) The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny

Who could ban these adorably cute rabbits? What crime could they possible commit? Well, the London County Council banned it from all schools in the 1980’s because they portrayed only middle class rabbits!

the tale peter rabbit List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

 

 

 

13) Letters from Burma

Talking about daily life in Burma, this collection of short stories by Aung San Suu Kyi, is banned in her own country.

letters from burma List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

14) Fight Club

Many may not have read the novel, satisfying ourselves with the movie version and who would really want to read the book after watching Brad Pitt, eh? If you are in China, then you probably have to just watch only the film anyhow because it was banned there in 1999 as the government didn’t approve of the many ways given in the books to make bombs and explosive devices.

fight club brad pitt List of banned books   The myriad reasons for banning them will both shock and surprise...

This list is sadly a lot bigger and ever growing with people and authorities perpetually raising objections to content of novels, poems, plays and other literary works. Most books are banned or challenged or temporarily removed due to obscenity and vulgarity. But banning it will not solve the problem or remove it from society. Moreover, what is explicit is a subjective opinion and people should be allowed to decide. .

 

By: Akansha Singh

 

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