This is an article about the unintended consequences that ensue when the morality police ban books that, in their eye, will corrupt our youth and degrade society's splendid ethical code. Time and again these books become bestsellers:
"In our own day, standards have changed so rapidly that books banned and burned only decades ago are now acceptable reading matter in our schools...[banned authors] are so respected that most college students are puzzled to learn of the trouble that greeted these books when originally published."
This well-read writer recalls the great novels leading up to the publication of Gone With The Wind (1936). Along the way, she lists some of the many foibles of The Great American Reading Public - in the end she recognizes that she shouldn't have been surprised at all that the historic romance was an all-time-best-seller and that Margaret Mitchell was awarded a Pulitzer.
A Literary journal's review of The Catcher in the Rye as well as the short stories contained in Salinger's collection Franny and Zooey:
"Salinger seems both to have a teenager's view of the adult world... and to have portrayed someone with whom a great many teenagers passionately wish to identify themselves."
At the peak of his fame, F. Scott Fitzgerald penned this opinion piece for a popular U.S. magazine:
"For one thing, I do not like old people - They are always talking about their "experience," and very few of them have any! - But it is the old folks that run the world; so they try to hide the fact that only young people are attractive or important."
In 1932, one of the few English speaking fans of bull-fighting was given the task of reviewing Ernest Hemingway's (1899 – 1961) Death in the Afternoon, and came away thinking:
"Ernest Hemingway, in the handling of words as an interpretation of life, is not a brilliant and ephemeral novillero, but a matador possessed of solid and even classic virtues."
Click here to read about Hemingway, the war correspondent.
Here is the 1922 review of Ulysses by James Joyce as it appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES:
"Before proceeding with a brief analysis of Ulysses and comment on its construction and its content, I wish to characterize it. Ulysses is the most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the Twentieth Century."
An interview with Joyce can be read here...