A Quandary on Censorship

Were I to refuse to purchase for the public library copies of a new edition of a classic American novel that censors out the historically accurate language of the original for the sake of political correctness, am I engaging in censorship?

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One Response to A Quandary on Censorship

  1. Kyle says:

    Yes, but since you’re only censoring politically correct hacks who think censorship is okay, I think it’s only fitting. Censorship by omission is unfortunately something every public library with finite funds (all of them) have to practice. There are lots of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, on which it simply doesn’t seem worthwhile to spend library funds. I would equate this with a graphic novel version, cliff’s notes or any other abridgement. You wouldn’t give Reader’s Digest books special consideration if they promised not to offend people, right?

    I think you’d be justified because it doesn’t really add value to the original, of which I’m sure Cass County has copies. Because you’re funded by taxpayer dollars and each purchase has to be rationalized and shown to improve or deepen the libraries holdings on a given subject, I think you have a case for saying “been there, done that, it’s on gutenberg.org”.

    There’s a much larger discussion to be had here about whose voice is really valid in a given work, even those in the public domain, and whether silencing a voice that may be deemed invalid in the given work is truly censorship, but that will have to wait for another time.

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