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Old 24 September 2013, 04:45 AM
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Icon13 North Carolina school board bans 'Invisible Man'

A North Carolina school board has banned Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel "Invisible Man" from its reading list, citing a lack of "literary value."

http://courier-tribune.com/sections/...libraries.html
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Old 24 September 2013, 01:27 PM
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The thought value of that novel is enough to make it literary. Geez.
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Old 24 September 2013, 01:38 PM
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From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Invisible Man won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Invisible Man nineteenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
It clearly has a long history of prestige, praise and recognition.

The article about the banning made it sounds like they objected to the language and sexual content more than anything.


Edit: the fact that a first-person account of an African American's experiences in a society which renders him "invisible" being banned from certain libraries is tragically ironic.
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Old 24 September 2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
"You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.”
Making the book unavailable to all students does not respect all points of view.
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Old 24 September 2013, 03:10 PM
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I would be more sympathetic if the objection was because it was the only choice the students had had (of course the solution then would be offer more choices). I don't care how much "literary value" a book has some books are just not going to appeal to some people and high school shouldn't be the place to limit what a child reads but rather it should be opening more doors for them. I will never appreciate "Heart of Darkness" and still resent the teacher who foisted it upon me!

That said it certainly sounds like "literary value" wasn't the real issue - although I did like that the board members at least read the book first before deciding. Well, of course that's assuming they actually did read the book.
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Old 24 September 2013, 03:31 PM
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When I read the title, I thought they were banning the H.G. Wells story. Which really confused me as I couldn't see why that would be so controversial.

Also, anyone that would write, "This book is freely in your library for them to read." does not get to have their opinion on writing considered.
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Old 24 September 2013, 05:18 PM
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Yeah I made the same mistake, even after I read the author's name. I take back whatever comments I had. I have no more thoughts on this book. (I did read "Black Like Me".)
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Old 24 September 2013, 05:23 PM
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Vanishing Board to reconsider its ‘Invisible Man’ ban

The Randolph County Board of Education has decided to take another look at its ban of a book from the shelves of Randolph County Schools libraries.

http://courier-tribune.com/sections/...80%99-ban.html
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Old 24 September 2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Mason said, “I didn’t find any literary value.” He also objected to the language in the book. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.”

Parson also objected to the type of language used in the book and its sexual content.
I suspect that in this milieu, objectionable language is a whole lot more objectionable when it comes from the mouth a Ralph Ellison character rather than the likes of a Holden Caulfield.
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Old 24 September 2013, 06:32 PM
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Could be, but I've seen book-banning types get their knickers in a twist over anything vaguely sexual or vulgar, regardless of race.

(This case does sort of make me want to donate a few copies of Manchild In the Promised Land to this library, though.)
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