Monday, August 2, 2010


“I never knew a girl who was ruined by a book."
--James Walker

I watched an interesting documentary via Netflix tonight entitled Obscene (2007).

It follows Barney Rosset of Grove Press, who published several alternative/literary classics in the U.S. when no one else would:

D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer)
Allen Ginsberg (Howl)
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)

It's a long documentary (as far as documentaries go)--more than an hour and a half in length. Some of it is a bit boring, while other parts are interesting. There is a lot about the Evergreen Review, a literary journal also published by Rosset from 1957-1973...(is now back Online) exciting!

I found out Grove Press is the exclusive U.S. publisher of the unabridged complete works of the Marquis de Sade....I own Justine as well as Lady Chatterley's Lover--but I have only scanned/skimmed through them...I haven't made it cover to cover yet.

Of course, I own four volumes of Anaïs Nin's journals and her Delta of Venus (related because of her famous relationship with Henry Miller).

Five of the authors Rosset had the nerve to publish have even gone on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature!

If none of these titles mean anything to you, here is a selection from the top 100 Banned/Challenged Books last decade (2000-2009) according to the American Library Association:

1 Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5 Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
14 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

15 The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16 Forever, by Judy Blume
17 The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
19 Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
21 To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

26 Beloved, by Toni Morrison
28 Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29 The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
33 Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
36 Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

43 Blubber, by Judy Blume
46 Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
49 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50 The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
55 Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green

65 The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
67 A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
69 Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
72 Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
74 The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

81 Black Boy, by Richard Wright
87 Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88 The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89 Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90 A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle

Do you feel like READING? I feel like writing!


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