It’s banned book week! Or rather, it was last week. . . .Time to celebrate those books that have been challenged and banned. Many classics that have been a part of the literary canon for decades have had their merit questioned. We have days to commemorate what happened. And we have Banned Books Week to remind us of what could have happened. We could have lost so much art if brave publishers and booksellers did not protest censorship. Books were banned for their language and content. Anything remotely sexual was considered pornographic. Racial slurs used to indicate a racist society were challenged. Something slightly bawdy was banned. And books that reinterpret religious texts were burned. Why? They are all merely ideas. They are all just musings, just observations, just words. But people become so caught up in their personal beliefs that they want to force them on other people. It seems strange to me that books are still being challenged and banned to this day. Continue reading
The Cuckoo’s Calling was written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Rowling created this pseudonym so she could have the freedom to write without expectation and receive honest feedback from editors and critics. She did not want her latest novel to be judged against her past—the Harry Potter series. Her pseudonym is a man who worked in the Special Investigation Branch of the military, which would explain why his photo was not included on the dust jacket or the lack of author appearances.
Part V of my ongoing quest to archive all the items I find in my books. Sometimes people store money or checks in their books. My friend Heather once found $20 in a book she found on the street. I cannot imagine getting rid of a book without carefully going through it to see what might be inside.
William S. Burroughs‘ Junkie is written tight and clean, just like I like it. But there is no humor, no black humor, nor any dry humor. The book is dark and hopeless, just as Burroughs’ addiction is. There is no redemption for his narrator; he never changes. But without Burroughs’ strict attention to detail, without his lack of repenting, we would not have the literature we have today. He wrote about gay sex easily without explaining it or making it dirty or salacious. He just wrote about his life. He created a whole new genre—cult culture.