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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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News Mon Dec 04 2006

Fahrenheit 2006

Forbes has an interesting article on the history of book burning, citing Anthony Comstock's 1866 New York Society for the Suppression of Vice as the original fire behind the, um, fires. It dates back much further than that, though, with speculations that the most famous book burning was at the Royal Library at Alexandria in Egypt (the exact date is disputed, but suffice it to say it was a long, long time ago). Unfortunately, the practice of book burning is still alive and the article introduces us to two Michigan pastors who held burnings of the Harry Potter books and one Maine pastor who, unable to get a burning permit, cut the books up instead. Says notorious free speech proponent Ray Bradbury (my literary hero and the author of our September '05 Book Club pick) of the pastor in Maine: "He sounds like a stupid man...he should just go somewhere, sit down and shut up." Amen, Mr. Bradbury. Amen. [via]

For a related story in old-but-still-good news, check out this father who, though never having read the seminal Bradbury work, pushed to have his daughter's school district remove Fahrenheit 451 from the curriculum. This occurred during Banned Books Week, no less. Something tells me the blinding irony is completely lost on him. But a bright spot can be found in this update that tells of fellow students circulating a petition in support of the book. They seem to have gotten Bradbury's message. [via]

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
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