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ONE FOR THE BOOKS: A COUNTER-CENSORSHIP EXHIBIT
In Oil City, Pa., the school board members didn't just ban John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men. They burned it. Cedar Lake, Ind. removed The American Heritage Dictionary from its high school because, among other things, a "bed" was defined as "a place for lovemaking." J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye has been expelled from more schools than Holden Caulfield. Issaquah, Wash, got rid of it after one citizen counted 785 profanities. "When a book has 222 'hells,' 27 'Chrissakes' and seven 'hornys'...then it shouldn't be in our public schools," she said. These are but three of 60 books that were banned between 1976 and 1980 in school and public libraries across the U.S. But the American Library Association is making sure they stay in circulation. Since last summer the association's Office of Intellectual Freedom has been sending an exhibit that proudly flaunts the 60 books—plus explanations of how they were banned—to any library that asks. The forbidden folios include everything from classics to contemporary best-sellers. Anaheim, Calif. disapproved of all of Shakespeare's works except Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet and all of Dickens' except Oliver Twist. A Westport, R.I. school official ruled One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was "garbage." Gardner, Kans. couldn't digest a sex scene in Peter Benchley's Jaws, which is also why Miller, Mo. censored Aldous Huxley's book about censored thought, Brave New World. There is even a children's story on the list—Father Christmas, by Raymond Briggs, banned in Holland, Mich. because it portrays Santa in a bad light: He complains about bad weather. The ALA's Robert Doyle says the exhibit is booked through 1984. In May it will be in the Kanawha County (W.Va.) Public Library, in July at the American Library Association meeting in Philadelphia, in August at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Normal, in September in Kimball, Nebr.'s public library and in October at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
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