Burning Books

Burning Books
Image Courtesy of The Good Atheist

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Final post

 

Image courtesy of ALA banned book week 2010
Biblioclasm, Libricide  Book Censorship
Introduction
I chose this topic as one of my beliefs is that all people should have the right to read whatever they choose and that this choice should not be taken lightly. Those of us who have this choice should use it wisely.
My findings described below tour the words used to describe the destruction of books and the effects on society.
Biblioclasm
Biblioclasm sounds interesting right so let’s look at the dictionary meaning for biblioclasm which is “extreme criticism or destruction of books, especially the Bible”.
Libricide

Libricide  is kind of like pesticide but not quite the definition of libricide is the destruction ("killing") of books.
Book cover of Libricide by Rebecca Knuth

An example of Biblioclasm and Libricide is to burn books. In Nazi Germany books were burnt because they were written by Jewish authors or contained any political or cultural content that could have been seen as “Un –German”. More than 25,000 volumes were burned on one night, May 10th 1933.


Image Courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Book Censorship
Even the most evolved society still feels the need to control what its people should or should not be reading. Australia is no different our current censorship act of parliament is to restrict any publication/film or computer game if it "advocates terrorist acts".
Book banning is the most common form of book censorship. Books are banned for a large number of reasons:  
  • Supernatural content
  • Swearing/coarse or foul language
  • Sexual content
  • Racial content
  • Religous or anti religous content
  • Drug abuse
  • Child abuse


Effects on society
In our ever changing society the role of a simple book, its contents and the ability to read has been and still is a way to influence how our society acts, thinks and does.  Wars have been fought over what one little book has said over what another book condemns, and is it fiction or non-fiction, does it contain supernatural or religious themes. All books are precious and reflect our society and culture past, future and present .
Cultural Heritage - By destroying a culturally significant collection such as the Jaffna Library in Sri Lanka, you destroy more than just paper and words you destroy that regions cultural heritage. 


All items in the Jaffna library were destroyed with no way of replacement. This irreplaceable written/visual heritage gone because of civil unrest, politics and simply being afraid of knowledge contained with the library.
Happily the Jaffna library has been restored to its former glory, the original collection was destroyed but with lots of support from other libraries a new collection is evolving.

Knowledge - Any destruction of books or collections/libraries is a destruction of knowledge. Knowledge is power and it is often for this reason that Libricide occurs, someone already in power is afraid of the populace uprising and overthrowing that power.

Destruction of books/libraries during times of crisis is an easy target to inflame the opposing cause, books are the innocent bystander.


Freedom of choice -This would have to be the greatest of all the effects on society, loss of freedom to choose for oneself to be told what you can or can't do, read, see and learn. Book banning or removal of certain titles because of content is the worst way to take away an individual freedom of choice.  To lose this freedom is not something I a western educated female in a non third world country could even imagine or being to understand. I love to read and the opportunity to read anything is a great privilege.


Image courtesy Cocking a snook blog
Religious Persecution – Burning of religious texts by a different religious group has occurred throughout history as a way of attacking that religion and those people who believe in that religion. Burning of religious texts has been beginning of many wars and certainly an easy target which still goes on today.


Conclusion


Books are life changing, informative/educational. The freedom to choose what to read, the ability to use the knowledge gained to improve oneself should be a basic human right. Unfortunately even today the ability to read and to choose what to read is a luxury that many will not achieve. Whether by government, or other ruling bodies the right to read and/or to choose what to read can be taken away to keep the population under the government  rule by taking away either or both of these rights the population doesn’t think for itself, doesn’t dream,  imagine or learn about the rest of the world. 
Reflection
On the whole the blogging process is not one that works for me. To me this process made my research feel disjointed and at many points I felt lost and overwhelmed. Having to post something every week was a struggle and a little confusing to my usual process of collection and then collation based on usefulness and relevance, finally writing up my findings ready to present. The weekly blog was a rush of this process.


I can see how useful a blog can be to convey information in such a way that is easily navigated, added to,  and commented on allowing the viewer to interact.Such information as events, book reviews and the like are easily placed in this format and I can see why so many libraries use blogs for these purposes.

References
Duthie, Fiona,  2010 "Libraries and the Ethics of Censorship." Australian Library Journal 59, no. 3: 86-94. Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre,  EBSCOhost  (accessed October 20 2010).
Knuth, Rebecca, 2003, Libricide : the regime-sponsored destruction of books and libraries in the twentieth century, Praeger, Westport, Conn.

‘Book Burning’ 2010, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, viewed October 20 2010, <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005852>.
Burning of Jaffna library’ 2010, Wikipedia, viewed October 2010, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_Jaffna_library>.

Australasian Legal Information Institute, CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) ACT 1995 - SECT 5, viewed October 20, 2010, <http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cfacga1995489/s5.html#publication>.

Cockingasnook, 2007, “Banned Books Week” Needs More Than Celebration This Year, 23 September 2007, viewed October 20 2010, <http://cockingasnook.wordpress.com/2007/09/23/happy-banned-books-week-2007/>.
American Library Association, 2010, ‘Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read’, viewed October 20, 2010 <http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/ideasandresources/free_downloads/2010banned.pdf>.

11 comments:

  1. I like the angle you have taken Miranda and your blog looks good. Your content is a bit light and has a more opinion piece tone than one required of a research report. I think your ideas could have been better supported by more extensive research.

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    1. you are probably right. BUT is sounds like ACADEMIC trash. the only reason I am doing this is I didn't get a scholarship to an acting school. So now I have to take a STEP CHILD program with a BA in theatre WITH at least 20 or MORE garbage can courses and TERM PAPER TRASH.

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  2. I HATE COLLEGE COURSES that I am forced to TAKE I throw the BOOKS in the GARBAGE and NEVER IMPLEMENT any of it. ITS trash. If the illegal alien mexican GUY left I would just go back to work. ITS PURE TRASH like junk mail.

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  3. HI its me again. ANOTHER thing. I throw away ALL police books and TV shows as well as PRO sports. I also throw away ANY that HAS anything to do with ww2 or the holocaust.

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  4. I hate WOMEN and CHILDREN. I have FAMILY VALUES and I DESPISE THE WORD COMMUNITY and NEIGHBor. I don't LIVE IN OLD DUBLIN I live in YOU suck modern day BOILERROOM U.S.A.. I BURN ALL OF THESE BOOKS ALL THE TIME EVERY CHANCE I GET.

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  5. I HATE WOMEN AND CHILDREN and FAMILY VALUES. I HATE THE WORD COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBOR. I don't live in OLD DUBLIN. I LIVE IN MODERN DAY YOU SUCK U.S.A.. I ALWAYS TRASH ALL THESE BOOKS AND IDEAS ALL THE TIME EVERY CHANCE I GET.

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  6. I hate IRISH AMERICAN and IRISH BOOKS and other MEDIA. I always THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE. I live in a third world shit hole BECAUSE OF THE LAZY RACE AND LOSER PIG(police) trash. you know there are alot of POLACKS in Ireland and it is a very small country and mostly white.

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  7. I hate AFRICAN and BLACK BOOKS. I always THROW that in the TZRASH. the only reason I read that GARBAGE is at an Equal Opportunity CHEES LINE like a STATE college.

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  8. I HATE ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS LIKE CUNY in NYC the ALWAYS make you REWRITE THINGS to get the "skills" or the "skels" you need. I first STEP on it and then I throw it in the GARBAGE. ANY ACADEMIC "skel" trash I find that might possibly HAVE MY NAME on it or I was FORCED TO DO THAT GARBAGE GETS TOSSED IN THE GARBAGE immediately. IT "cheese line" like ghetto and GIVE and FREE for mr. nigger I was forced to read.

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  9. I TRASH ALL BOOKS ABOUT TOM SAWYER. I hate this GUY. he makes the OTHER GUY paint the FENCE for free. I HATE ALL AMERICANS AND MICROMANAGEMENT AND AMERICAN LOSERS JOBS that MAKE you work "non-union" and DEADend "skel" jobs. the WORST PART of it is NOW the IRISH american POLICE WHITE TRASH DO this one "oh" you need to go to jail. OR they sociopath you "this guy here is the child molester" or "mr. bad background trash." mr. mexico spic illegal type GETS paid ALL the TIME even if it is 5 dollars. WITHOUT WHITE TRASH, SKELing and mr. ami USA enemy GUY TOM SAWYER mico management GARBAGE.

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  10. I think the site is good for customer satisfaction. One of my friends said your site better is other websites Read More....

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