Sometimes it seems like most famous books have been banned by someone some time…the favorite that comes most quickly to mind is Huckleberry Finn, mostly because I’ve been amazed more than once at the reasons behind it. I mean, I’d sort of get it if they cited profanity–I wouldn’t agree, but at least there’d be some logic and accuracy to it. But I’ve heard Huckleberry Finn get banned for two other reasons. One, that Huck rejects God when he decides he’ll free Jim even if it means he goes to Hell, which is a complete misunderstanding of the book, since the whole point is that of course Huck is doing the morally right thing. And two, even dumber, it’s been banned for nudity. One sentence mentions Huck and Jim don’t much bother with clothes on the raft because they’re in the water so much anyway. Scandalous, that one.
I also heard a story somewhere hat Tarzan of the Apes was once banned because Tarzan and Jane lived together unmarried in the jungle. This clearly was from someone who didn’t actually read the book–in the first one they’re not even together romantically, and in the second one Burroughs specifically writes in (for no other apparent reason) that Jane’s father was a minister and therefore could marry them in the wilds of Africa. This particular misrepresentation is especially ridiculous because Burroughs in all his books is exceedingly Victorian in his attitudes around romance!
Do you have a favorite book that’s been banned? Do you have a favorite absurd story around banning books?