It is perhaps my greatest ambition in life to write a banned book. A work of staggering proportions that shakes the constitutions of the delicate, disturbs the comfortable. A book with mettle, with the balls to rattle the bones of the modern-minded, the liberated, the advanced - to attack like a predator. A shark in the water, briny words that bubble over pink wounds, teeth like prehistoric knives. I want to shock you with Truth.
I think I am fully capable of doing this. Though I might die in the process. An exhalation of that magnitude sounds like an opus that would suck every life’s fluid, every muscle and cell from the body. All the color too. I’m pretty sure I would become invisible after being drained of such an accomplishment, a translucent cave creature with filmy eyes. A literary albino.
Would that I could have such an end.
But while the glory of glowing in infamy – forever and ever, amen – remains still caged in whatever untapped corner of my mind, for the moment, my focus is for You. And You, my friend, have much to receive in these upcoming days as Banned Books Week kicks off starting this Sunday, September 30th, running through Saturday, October 6th. In honor of the daring minds and voices of print, Carmichael’s Bookstore will proudly salute the celebration by hosting lawyer and media expert, Jeremy Rogers, for a discussion of censorship Sunday at 4pm at the Frankfort Avenue store.
Armed with degrees in both Law and Journalism, Jeremy Rogers has firsthand experience with the black bars of censorship. Over the course of his career as an attorney, Rogers has represented the media in numerous defenses of First Amendment rights, privacy and defamation cases, dealing upfront with the nuances of free speech in America. Using his knowledge, Rogers will speak on the importance of free and open access to information, spotlighting the dangers of censorship, its controversy and also highlight actual or attempted bannings of books across the country. Carmichael’s will also display titles that have been recently banned by parents, schools and libraries in the nation. Fight the power.
I have a great deal of passion for books, my loves. So much. So much that I have devoted my entire life to the birth, life and death of words, of sentences and pages and syntax. I hold it all in my belly, so smooth and round with creation. Someday I’ll Write Big for you and show you the name of that shark that bites. And you’ll be forced to hold ye fast as your legs give out, weak from the smack of my own private idiom laced into my paragraphs: books are culture. And banned books are the Truth within culture.
A List from Me to You for a Healthy Dose of the Unscrupulous:
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (start ‘em young!)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Native Son by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (actually, everything he ever wrote was banned. And you should read all of it.)
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com
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