Tag Archives: censorship

Puritans vs. Cavalier Theatre

Thursday I’m currently immersed in John Stubbs’s Reprobates, an account of the cavalier poets during England’s 17th century civil war. I met John when I was in Ljubljana—he’s married to a Slovenian high court judge and teaches at the international high school—and the work is even more enthralling than his biography of Jonathan Swift, which […]

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Beware of Literature’s Purity Police

Laura Moriarty’s “American Heart” has been attacked for being a white savior narrative. Such stories should in fact be critiqued, but the attackers are often a bigger problem.

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Great Lit Changes Expectations Horizons

Hans Robert Jauss’s believes that great literature changes horizons of expectation whereas lesser lit simply confirms them. If “Madame Bovary” was brought to trial, Jauss says, it is because it charted a new course in literary history that people didn’t understand.

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i sing of Kaepernick glad and big

The case of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem brings to mind E. E. Cummings’s “i sing of Olaf,” where an American conscientious objector refuses to honor the flag and is tortured.

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Literature as a Public Event

In my Theories of the Reader senior seminar, I will have my students study a literary work that became a public event. In today’s post I list a number of possibilities.

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Stephen Gosson: Unhinged by Lit

Stephen Gosson, a 17th century Puritan and failed playwright, unloads virtually every poet revered in the 17th century. Though we dismiss his words today, they anticipated contemporary attacks on literature/

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Helms’s Attack on Marvell’s “Coy Mistress”

Tales of unexpected attacks against great literature: in 1966 Jesse Helms, later a rightwing North Carolina senator, attacked Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” for providing male students a chance to talk about erotic matter in front of female students.

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Let Our Teachers Teach

Monday When I wrote last week about a Virginia legislator attacking teachers for assigning Toni Morrison’s Beloved, I didn’t realize that there was a mother in an adjoining county also going after the book. And unlike the Virginia legislator she gives reasons. Here’s from The Post’s article about Laura Murphy, a Fairfax County mother whose son […]

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A Virginia Legislator Attacks Beloved

A Virginia representative has attacked the teaching of Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” calling the novel “moral sewage.” Given the man’s views on spousal rape and abortion, i think I know what scene in the book set him off.

Posted in Morrison (Toni) | Also tagged , | 2 Comments

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