The last week of September has been declared as the Banned Books Week by the American Library foundation. Intellectual freedom is challenged every year as several books face censorship and even a ban. In 2012, several books were banned from libraries and schools in the U.S. The list of banned books included Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey.
Here are 5 legendary books which, people do not generally know, were banned.
Even though numerous libraries and schools have banned The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the most dishonourable censorship of the legendary dramatist came from Thomas Bowdler. Mr Bowdler created his own version of Shakespeare, published in 1818. He corrected Shakespeare by omitting the suggestion that Ophelia might have committed suicide. He referred it as an accident. In August 2013, author Mark Forsyth was blocked from using the Wi-Fi at the British Library due to "violent content." Mr Forsyth was blocked when he Googled Hamlet MIT.
Alice in Wonderland
One of the greatest children's stories ever written, Alice in Wonderland was banned from several schools and governments due to the alleged disrespect against religious ceremonies and sexual fantasies. On the other hand, it was banned by the Chinese government as it showed animals using human language. It was told that putting human beings and animals on the same level was disastrous.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was banned in South Africa in 1955. It was told that the novel was obscene and indecent. The then apartheid regime in the country was responsible for banning several classics. The government said that the book was "objectionable," as reported by the New York Times.
This legendary book by Karl Marx has turned out to be the most critical analysis of political economy in the 20th century. The author and all his works, including Das Kapital, suffered a ban in Nazi Germany. Mr Marx was also banned in Russia between 1871 and 1900. The Chinese Nationalist government banned Das Kapital as well as the Communist Manifesto in 1929.
Tropic of Cancer
The U.S. Customs Service banned the import of the Henry Miller classic in 1934 after its release in France. It took 30 years to overrule than ban as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to call the book obscene in 1964. The book was also banned in Canada (1938). Strong opposition against a ban on the book by prominent literary figures like T.S. Elliot prevented the Scotland Yard from imposing a ban on the book in the 1960s.