Banned Books Week, Day 2

Challenges or Bans — which is which?

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association,

So, a big THANK YOU! to librarians, teachers, students, parents, and others who protect our right to access information in all forms.

Today’s featured author is actually a composer: Richard Wagner. At the beginning of this month, complaints poured into a Jerusalem classical radio station because it was playing an excerpt from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods). According to a BBC News story, “Wagner’s music is not banned in Israel but is not played due to widespread public opposition.” This has evidently been a long-standing practice which, I guess, lets the listeners off the hook — they’ll never have to worry about waking up to Wagner on their alarm clock radio, or being surprised by Wagner blaring from their car radios, or having his melodies kill their appetites just as they get ready to dig in to their dinners. [I’m reminded of Peter Schickele’s Radio WTWP (Wall To Wall Pachelbel), which plays no music in a minor key before 11 pm.]

As with all works by artists with objectionable beliefs, opinions in Jerusalem are divided. I’m not trying to enter that argument with this post; instead, I want only to draw your attention to the fact that it isn’t just books, or even language, that raise people’s hackles.

Tomorrow: some surprising (to me) data.

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
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