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Old 09-22-2013, 07:55 AM  
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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Invisible Man Banned

Invisible Man Banned: Ralph Ellison's Landmark Novel Banned From School Libraries

A lack of "literary value" has apparently left Ralph Ellison's landmark 1952 novel, Invisible Man banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C., the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports.

According to the Tribune, a parent of an eleventh grader wrote the school district expressing her disapproval of the book's availability to students stating:

The narrator writes in the first person, emphasizing his individual experiences and his feelings about the events portrayed in his life. This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers. You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.
As the school district's policy requires, the parent's complaints lead to votes on the school and district levels. Both held that the book should remain available to students in the library. However, in a 5-2 vote, the school board voted to ban the book, with one board member, Gary Mason, stating, "I didnít find any literary value."

Mason's blunt assessment however, runs counter to decades of intellectual criticism of the novel, which won the 1953 National Book Award for fiction, beating out Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and John Steinbeck's East of Eden.

In 1995, writing for the New York Times, Roger Rosenblatt praised the novel as a masterpiece.

"Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," which won the National Book Award in 1953, was instantly recognized as a masterpiece, a novel that captured the grim realities of racial discrimination as no book had, " Rosenblatt wrote. "Its reputation grew as Ellison retreated into a mythic literary silence that made his one achievement definitive."

Including the book in its list of 100 Best English Language Novels since 1923, Time literary critic Lev Grossman also expressed great admiration for Ellison's work.

"Evenhandedly exposing the hypocrisies and stereotypes of all comers, Invisible Man is far more than a race novel, or even a bildungsroman. Itís the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century."

Still, this kind of high praise wasn't enough to prevent the book from being banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
Invisible Man Banned: Ralph Ellison's Landmark Novel Banned From School Libraries

A lack of "literary value" has apparently left Ralph Ellison's landmark 1952 novel, Invisible Man banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C., the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports.
Ok, fair enough.

But only if people with a bachelors in lit or english get to decide that.
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #18
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I disagree 1000% with banning books of any kind. That said, Invisible Man was a crap book. No "literary value" is pretty much my opinion on it as well. I distinctly remember the first time I read it (high school AP English) and thinking "How in HELL did this piece of crap make it on the list" because it was so blatantly inferior to everything else we were reading at the time.

So obviously I'm not a fan but banning books(even the crappy ones) is NEVER a good idea.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #19
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Im sure it was the sexual themes that upset the (probably white) woman in North Carolina, and not the "uppity-ness" of the narrator.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
I disagree 1000% with banning books of any kind. That said, Invisible Man was a crap book. No "literary value" is pretty much my opinion on it as well. I distinctly remember the first time I read it (high school AP English) and thinking "How in HELL did this piece of crap make it on the list" because it was so blatantly inferior to everything else we were reading at the time.

So obviously I'm not a fan but banning books(even the crappy ones) is NEVER a good idea.
It showed the short comings of Communist Party USA from a black person's POV... Showed the social relationship between blacks and whites a la "the white man's burden" and interracial sexual tension as seen with the Narrator and the Trustee Norton at the brothel...
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #21
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I remember my first encounter with the book. I was sorely disappointed that it wasn't THE invisible man. Like the one who turns invisible.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:34 PM   #22
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rausch View Post
Ok, fair enough.

But only if people with a bachelors in lit or english get to decide that.
I have one but have to admit I have never read the book.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:36 PM   #23
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It showed the short comings of Communist Party USA from a black person's POV... Showed the social relationship between blacks and whites a la "the white man's burden" and interracial sexual tension as seen with the Narrator and the Trustee Norton at the brothel...
He attacked every single black leader in that book. And then he attacked everyone else.

The beauty of the book to me was how the narrator learns how to stop letting people define who you are, but to just be yourself.

Who cares if I like yams. Who cares what they say if they see me eat yams. I like yams so I will eat them.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
He attacked every single black leader in that book. And then he attacked everyone else.

The beauty of the book to me was how the narrator learns how to stop letting people define who you are, but to just be yourself.

Who cares if I like yams. Who cares what they say if they see me eat yams. I like yams so I will eat them.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #25
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Im sure it was the sexual themes that upset the (probably white) woman in North Carolina, and not the "uppity-ness" of the narrator.
You give people in North Carolina too much credit.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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I'm sure this will backfire big time. Every student in that school will read the book now, even if they would never read a book on their own normally.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #27
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I remember my first encounter with the book. I was sorely disappointed that it wasn't THE invisible man. Like the one who turns invisible.



i just now realized this. mind blown.

g'night, everybody!!!!!!!
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