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Banned Books Week - Sellersburg: Authors on Censorship

Judy Blume


 "Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them.  If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear."

     -Judy Blume, 1993

 "It's not just the books under fire now that  worry me.  It is the books that will never be  written.  The books that will never be read.  And all due to the fear of censorship."

    -Judy Blume, 1997

 "I feel badly for the children because it sends a message to them that there is something wrong with reading, that we don't want them to read this book because there's something in it that we don't want them to know."

-Judy Blume


Mark Twain



"But the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn't anger me."

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.  Mark Twain,  February 7, 1907

E.M Forster

"We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance.  In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship."

- E. M. Forster






Jan Slepian

"If parents feel that their children would benefit more by reading a book next year rather than this year, that seems perfectly alright to me.  But when a book is removed from a library shelf, denying all children the right to read it, that is certainly interfering with First Amendment Freedom.  What we're awakening to is the threat of books burning.  It has echos for us all, because the looney few are able to put their imprint on the rest of us by making enough of a stir.  This problem has a different face each generation."

-Jan Slepian


Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.:


"We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard."

- Voltaire




Joseph Brodsky

There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them."

-Joseph Brodsky




Neil Gaiman

Where adults are concerned I get to be a first amendment absolutist."

-Neil Gaiman




Ray Bradbury

In my later years, I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating.
-Ray Bradbury


Oscar Wilde

There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book.  Books are well written or badly written.  That is all.

- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1981

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.

- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1981

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being call an idea at all.

-Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, 1891



Kurt Vonnegut

"I hate it when Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases..."

- Kurt Vonnegut

Salman Rushdie

"Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game.  Free speech is life itself."

- Salman Rushdie

George Bernard Shaw

"Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to ready any books except the books that nobody reads."

-George Bernard Shaw

Heinrich Heine

"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings"

-Heinrich Heine

Benjamin Franklin

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."  

-Benjamin Franklin, 1730

Clare Booth Luce

"Censorship, like charity, should being at home; but unlike charity, it should end there."

-Clare Booth Luce

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Every burned book enlightens the world."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson