Saturday, November 18, 2006

-Guerrilla Art Hits the Shelves: Banned Books in Boston-

I was perusing the shelves at the Morton R. Godine Library when I came across a book that struck my fancy: 'Radicalism and the Revolt Against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel' by Irving L. Horowitz. As I went up to the front desk to check it out a piece of paper fell from the pages of the book. The text on it read: "If you're taking this book out you may be a terrorist in which case you should consider turning yourself in" it then provided the phone number for Operation TIPS and was signed Attorney General John Ashcroft. The librarian then informed me that an unknown person had been taking books and personally censoring them by marking out the text with sharpie and then putting them back on the shelves. Now the purpose of this clever sabotage is pretty obvious given the current political climate. However, since titles chosen had all been previously banned at some point in history, it also speaks to our region's Puritan history of censorship, one which gave birth to the once popular phrase "Banned in Boston."

Since the Godine Library is located within Massachusetts College of Art, the library administrators were looking for some sort of outlet in which to exhibit these self-censored books. Since no galleries were biting, I decided to showcase them myself.

'The Catcher in the Rye'

'Franny and Zooey'

'Animal Farm'

'The Stranger'

'Lord of the Flies'


'The Wind in the Willows'

'Journey to the Center of the Earth'


Blogger Alisdair Clarke said...

Hi Ean

This is hilarious! I have that very edition of LORD OF THE FLIES (Seventy-ninth impression).

When I worked in Watkins Occult bookshop off Charing Cross Road we regularly had customers who would leave slips of paper in various books. Usually they were Muslims leaving messages in “heretical” copies of the Koran.

Alisdair Clarke
Delenda est Carthago!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Ean Frick said...

Hehe. What is a heretical copy of the Koran?

1:55 PM  
Blogger Alisdair Clarke said...

When it's published by the Ahmadiyya sect. They started in India during the British Raj and now have a large mosque in Wandsworth, west London.

3:55 AM  

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