Saturday, 6 October 2012

LETTERS OF NOTE: Yet More Censorship

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It's funny how these things happen. My recent lack of posts is due in part from writer's block, and then a lifeline arrives in the shape of the old chestnut of censorship.

In the past I've reposted letters from Kurt Vonnegut, Harper Lee and Mark Twain, all of whom had their books outlawed by school boards on account of their language or misconstrued message. Today's Letter of Note is a more recent example of the same phenomenon, with the author being Pat Conroy and the year being 2007.

Conroy received an email from a concerned student that two of his books, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music, had been banned by Kanawha County school boards, he wrote a stern and passionate letter which eventually led to the decision being reversed. While many of his arguments and concerns have been stated before in other letters, this one caught my eye for its eulogising of the English language, its praise for the spirit of English teachers, and for this apt line: "The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out.".

You can find the full text of Conroy's letter here, in all its poetic and insightful glory. There probably won't be any more censorship-based posts for a while, since I think we've covered the topic in sufficient detail.

Daniel

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