01 October 2008

Banned Books Week - Day 3

Today I pick D.H. Lawrence's book Sons and Lovers. I don't know why someone banned it unless they hated it even more than I did, and I just don't think that's possible. This is another one I read for school. It was the over-the-summer homework in preparation for AP English when I was a senior in high school. It's a novel version of D.H. Lawrence's life. Why he did it that way I don't know, but it doesn't really matter because the only books I've ever disliked as much as this one, I simply didn't finish reading. (Black Trillium and Crystal Singer come immediately to mind. Hated both. Didn't waste my time finishing them.) In the case of Sons and Lovers, however, it was for school and I dug the teacher and I didn't want to start my last year of high school off on the inevitable lazy note on which I knew it was destined to end. So I read it. Every fucking word. You know how I celebrated when I was done? I threw it across my parents' living room. Diagonally so it would have to fly farther. This is saying something. I treasure books. They're very important to me just in their very existence. The fact that I wanted to do physical harm to this innocent collection of pages tells you just how much I loathed what was printed on those pages.

Now here's the funny part. We started the year on this book. I expressed repeatedly and fairly articulately why and how much I hated it. It wasn't until late in the school year that I discovered that the teacher didn't believe I'd read it. How do I know? I was TA-ing for the registrar and the English teacher came in. The conversation got around to this horrible book, and I began, once again, to expound on its great horribleness. That's when I saw it. That sudden look of surprise and realization on his face. It was at that moment he understood that I had read it. Hell, if my points of argument were still in my head eight months later, I must have right? I still love the guy, but Duh! Could I possibly have hated it that much without reading it? No! Right then and there I told him in no uncertain terms that I had read every page of that piece of shit (And yes, that was my choice of wording at the time.) and it sucked!

So there you have it. Not all banned books are actually good books, but that still doesn't mean they should be banned. If one objects to a book, don't read it. Assuming, of course, you are given the choice. ;-P

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