Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stephen King Essay

Someone sent me a link to this great essay written by Stephen King after yet another parent group decided his books didn't belong in their local middle school library. I don't always like King's fiction - often I don't, actually. Horror isn't my cup of tea. But his short fiction is frequently sublime and his essays on writing should be turned into a textbook on writing. Anyway, I like his balanced approach to the subject of censorship, book banning and how it applies to schools...
"Do I think that all books and all ideas should be allowed in school libraries? I do not. Schools are, after all, a "managed" marketplace. Books like "Fanny Hill" and Brett Easton Ellis' gruesome "American Psycho" have a right to be read by people who want to read them, but they don't belong in the libraries of tax-supported American middle schools. Do I think that I have an obligation to fly down to Florida and argue that my books, which are a long way from either "Fanny Hill" or "American Psycho," be replaced on the shelves from which they have been taken? No. My job is writing stories, and if I spent all my time defending the ones I've written already, I'd have no time to write new ones." -Stephen King, 20 March 1992 "The Adventure In Censorship Is Stranger Than Fiction"

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).