Monday, January 20, 2003

Jonah Goldberg proves that conservatives are just hilarious.

Jonah Goldberg Flashback!

Rod, Mike, I agree with you guys that Jackson’s a boob, Flannery O’Connor is great and that yanking books just for PC hysteria is a bad idea. However, since I’ve been cast in the light of NR’s Comstock, I thought I’d point out that even Mark Twain himself wanted his book banned from some libraries.

Both Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were removed from the Children's Department of The Brooklyn Public Library in 1905. They were designated "bad examples for ingenuous youth." A librarian who opposed the ban wrote to Mark Twain seeking his support. Twain sent the following letter:

Nov. 21, '05.
Dear Sir, -- I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn for adults exclusively, & it always distresses me when I find that boys & girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean. I know this by my own experience, & to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean, sweet breath again this side of the grave.
Most honestly do I wish that I could say a softening word or two in defense of Huck's character since you wish it, but really, in my opinion, it is no better than those of Solomon, David, & the rest of the sacred brotherhood.
If there is an unexpurgated in the Children's Department, won't you please help that young woman remove Tom & Huck from that questionable companionship?
Sincerely yours,S. L. Clemens.
I shall not show your letter to any one -- it is safe with me.

Now, I'm not in favor of pulling Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn from libraries, but let's at least give a small nod to the fact that some material actually can be banned from libraries without the sky falling.

The fact that Jonah didn't request that they delete that post and all references to it is evidence he might have SOME sense of humor...