Thursday, October 18, 2007

Four Paragraphs

Novelist and memoirist Diana Abu-Jaber visited the college where I teach yesterday where she told us the story of her recent experience with a high school in Texas. The parents of three students objected to the teaching of her novel, Crescent, which has been praised for, among other things, presenting Iraqi-American characters "as real people."

This wasn't what bothered the parents, though. Rather, it was the presence of four paragraphs of sexual content.

The principal at the school ordered the teachers to stop teaching the book. The teachers protested and were offered a compromise: black out the four offending paragraphs and you can still teach the book. The teachers asked Abu-Jaber's permission to do so, arguing that while they were loathe to succumb to such pressure, they felt that there was so much else to be gained from this book, they hoped she would understand and assent to the practice.

As she considered the bargain, Abu-Jaber consulted with writers and "publishing people." The writers were adamant in their insistence that she say no. The publishing people, and even her own husband urged her to accept the compromise.

In the end, she came up with a compromise of her own. She would not give her permission, but she would not stand in the way if the teachers themselves wanted to do the blacking out. And if they did choose to black out the paragraphs and continue teaching Crescent, she would post the excised text on her web site.

Here's the story, straight from Diana Abu-Jaber's website:
Awful as censorship is, I’d always thought there was a reassuring familiarity about banned books—Huck Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lolita—classics powerful enough to frighten people into wanting to silence them.

After all, isn’t that’s what censorship is all about—fear—of controversy, sexuality, difference, of questioning the status quo?

Then I received a sensitive, beautifully-written email from Texas. It was from a high school teacher, informing me that my novel, Crescent, had been banned from her school due to the objections of the parents of three students over the sexual content of four paragraphs in the book.

Her principal was behind the ban, but after teachers protested he offered a compromise. This is an excerpt from the teacher’s letter:

“If we obtain your permission to black out the four offending paragraphs … we are allowed to include the book in our curriculum….I am willing to ask you to do the unthinkable – will you allow us to mark through these four paragraphs in the interest of introducing a discussion of a culture so frequently demonized and belittled in our part of the country? Will you help me bring into a politically conservative community a sympathetic view of Iraq and Iraqi people?”

And so, after much thought and much asking-for-advice, I thought I’d share the response I gave the teacher:

October 2, 2007

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful email. I've spent several days considering your question.

Ultimately, I find that I can't condone your principal's offer to censor my novel in order to make it more acceptable. That said, you do have my permission, to do what you think is right for your students.

In a strange way, I suppose, I think this discussion is an encouraging thing. I find it fascinating that, in our culture of war, macabre violence, and shocking cinema, a literary novel could still carry enough of an impact as to make someone want to silence it.

My husband pointed out that censors are always with us, determining the limits of morality and conventions, in every source of art and information, from books to film to music. He argues, along with you, that it’s better to allow students to read some of a book—indeed most of a book—rather than none at all.

Even though I see the excellent sense of this argument, I couldn’t find a way to feel right about crossing out text. I became a writer in large part because I felt like I couldn’t otherwise make my voice heard. To agree to blackening out such passages feels like colluding in my own silencing.

I once had a debate with a student from Saudi Arabia. I’d complained to him that the problem with America was that nothing was sacred. He’d laughed at me and said, on the contrary, that the great thing about America was that nothing was sacred.

I worry, though, that the American problem is that the wrong things are sacred.

I won’t belabor pointing out the obvious irony of blacking out scenes of love-making in a book that’s concerned with the depiction and the violence of unjust wars and dictatorship. We all already know this—in America, love gets bleeped, the violence stays. The two main characters in Crescent are in love, the few sexual passages in the book are far from graphic. Indeed, the scenes in which they cook and eat together are nearly just as suggestive as the contested passages.

But a friend, upon hearing about this debate, postulated that the real reason the students’ parents are upset is because the book gives a human face to Arab Muslim people.

That might be the part of this that unnerves me the most – and like so many forms of subtle discrimination and racism, we’ll never really know if that’s the case or not. The people who want the book banned may not even be entirely conscious of it themselves.

So I thank you for giving me the chance to think out loud a little about such an important issue. If you decide to proceed with blacking out hte passages, I'll be happy to post the offending text on my website, so those students who might be curious, can decide for themselves if they'd like to see what the fuss is about.

Please feel free to share my response with your principal, the parents, and even with your students. It’s a wonderful object lesson in the free and open exchange of ideas vs. book banning, especially during this, Banned Books Week.

With great respect for wonderful teachers, like yourself,

Diana Abu-Jaber


11 Comments:

Blogger GraceAnne LadyHawk said...

I reviewed Crescent for Booklist; I loved the sweet power of its language. I am so glad she wrote this marvelous essay in response.

1:14 PM  
Blogger sarala said...

I was at my son's school and was shocked to find that the parent in front of me for a conference was asking a teacher to black out a few lines she found offensive and to rewrite the lines in a less disturbing way. I went up to the teacher afterward and told her I hoped she didn't do what was asked of her and said that if my son were in her class I'd make sure he read the "unabridged" version. I think there should be no compromises on this issue or we all lose!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Palak said...

This Blog is really nice and helpful. We hope our post will be useful for all visitors of this prestigious blog.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 征信, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社

7:13 PM  
Blogger adf said...

室內設計,室內設計,室內設計,裝潢,室內設計,室內設計室內設計公司
,搬家公司,搬家公司,台北搬家公司,搬家公司,室內設計
這一家租屋網免費刊登不用錢耶
搬家公司,健身,茶葉A片,SEO,SEO,SEO,motel,led手電筒,棧板,二胎,隔熱紙,照明,健身,a383,a383,,二手家具,a383,胸章,車燈,
文山搬家
,兼職小姐,南港搬家,大安區搬家,松山搬家,中山區搬家,八里搬家,
五股搬家,
泰山搬家,大同區搬家,中正區搬家,士林搬家,萬華搬家,

台北搬家公司,台北搬家公司,客人,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,加油棒,台中搬家公司,台北市搬家公司,台北縣搬家公司


台中美食


台北美食


新竹美食


桃園美食


台中美食小吃


台中美食餐廳


大台中美食網


台北美食餐廳


桃園美食餐廳

桃園美食網

新竹美食網


新竹美食餐廳

 

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

汽車旅館台北汽車旅館台中汽車旅館高雄汽車旅館

8:47 AM  
Blogger 租車公司 said...

花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花東旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊,租車公司,花蓮旅行社,花蓮旅遊景點,花蓮旅遊行程,花蓮旅遊地圖,花蓮租車資訊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車旅遊網,花蓮租車,花蓮租車,花蓮租車,花東旅遊景點,租車,花蓮旅遊,花東旅遊行程,花東旅遊地圖,花蓮租車公司,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊租車,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮賞鯨,花蓮旅遊,花蓮旅遊,租車,花蓮租車,花蓮租車 ,花蓮 租車,花蓮,花蓮旅遊網,花蓮租車網,花蓮,租車,花東 旅遊,花蓮 租車,花蓮,旅遊,租車公司,花蓮,花蓮旅遊,花東旅遊,花蓮地圖,包車,花蓮,旅遊租車,花蓮 租車,租車,花蓮租車資訊網,花蓮 旅遊,租車,花東,花東地圖,租車公司,租車網,花蓮租車旅遊,租車,花蓮,賞鯨,花蓮旅遊租車,花東旅遊,租車網,花蓮海洋公園,租車 ,花蓮 租車,花蓮,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車公司,租車花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮旅行社,花東旅遊,花蓮包車,租車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮一日遊,租車服務,花蓮租車公司,花蓮包車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮租車,租車網,花蓮租車公司,花蓮旅遊,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,租車花蓮,租車服務,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮旅遊,花蓮賞鯨,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,租車花蓮,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,租車花蓮,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮包車,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊租車,花蓮租車,花蓮租車公司,花蓮一日遊,花蓮租車網,花蓮旅遊租車,花蓮租車網,花蓮租車,花蓮一日遊,租車花蓮,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊租車,花蓮租車,花蓮租車旅遊,花蓮租車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮旅遊,花蓮包車,花蓮溯溪,花蓮泛舟,花蓮溯溪旅遊網,花蓮旅遊,花蓮民宿,花蓮入口網,花蓮民宿黃頁,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車,租車公司,花蓮旅遊租車,花蓮租車,租車,花蓮旅遊,花蓮租車

3:05 AM  
Blogger KO said...

牙醫,植牙,假牙|矯正|牙周病,牙醫診所植牙,紋身,刺青,創業,批發,TATTOO,皮膚科,痘痘,雷射脈衝光除斑,中醫,腫瘤,腎臟病,僵直性脊椎炎,飛梭雷射,肉毒桿菌,玻尿酸,痘痘,脈衝光,醫美,毛孔粗大,醫學美容,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字自然排序,網路行銷,關鍵字自然排序,關鍵字行銷seo,關鍵字廣告,網路行銷,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,自然排序,部落格行銷,網路行銷,網路爆紅,牛舌餅婚紗台中婚紗

8:30 PM  
Blogger cvxv said...

看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,日本料理,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,場地,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,結婚,場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,PMP,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,PMP,證照,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,EMBA,MBA,PMP
,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP
,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,漢高資訊,漢高資訊,比利時,比利時聯合商學院,宜蘭民宿,台東民宿,澎湖民宿,墾丁民宿,花蓮民宿,SEO,找工作

住宿,民宿,飯宿,住宿,民宿,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,室內設計,室內設計,室內設計,室內設計,室內設計,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,住宿,民宿,飯店,旅遊,美容,美髮,整形,造型,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,羅志祥,周杰倫,五月天,蔡依林,林志玲,羅志祥,周杰倫,五月天,蔡依林,林志玲,羅志祥,羅志祥,周杰倫,五月天,蔡依林,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,漢高資訊

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

現在來談談
台中搬家公司的未來展望,買新房子想從北屯搬到台中七期,當然要找台中搬家公司來執行台中搬家,明年台中縣市就要合併升格,到時候就無所謂台中縣搬家公司了,就只剩下台中市搬家公司。一搬來說大台中地區包括台中縣市,也包含彰化及南投,所以網路上找中部地區搬家公司,就會用南投搬家公司或者彰化搬家公司


再來談行的問題,景氣不是很好很多人買不起新車只好買中古車囉!中古車買賣是需要技巧的,胡亂買中古車可能會吃大虧的,消費者可要睜大眼睛看清楚,免得買了後悔不已。如果買新車的話,就沒有剛剛的問題,新車業務員在交車時一般都會幫車主貼隔熱紙,就是我們所說的汽車隔熱紙,不過他們貼的隔熱紙品質都不是挺好的,相信很多車主有許多不愉快經驗吧!有了車之後免不了要學開車吧!一般學開車是要到駕訓班,當然也可以叫做汽車駕訓班,聽說學費不便宜喔!還是省一點好,不要亂花錢。

經濟不景氣,討論借錢的話題很多人應開有興趣,在台北想借錢或者汽車借款可以到台北當舖或者是台北市當舖台北縣當舖當然也可以,如果是住在台北火車站到台北市當舖借錢比較方便。那我住在內湖就可以到內湖區當舖借錢融資囉!住在東區就找信義區當舖借錢,以此類推。一般支票貼現也有辦理,銀行有辦理票貼當舖也有阿,而且比銀行更方便,利息雖然高一點不過時效性卻非常好,一般工商人士短期借款就很喜歡到當舖的原因。我家現在住在桃園想融資票貼就得到桃園當舖,住新竹的人往新竹當舖借貸是比較方便。來到台中手頭不方便,想週轉借貸一下台中當舖是有這樣的服務,報紙或者網路上隨時都可以查到台中
縣當舖
的資訊,因為台中當舖是非常有名的,服務也相當好。往台灣南部走先碰到的是嘉義當舖,借錢票貼一樣容易,聽說嘉義還蠻好玩的,火雞肉飯不錯吃喔!再往南走將會遇到高雄當舖,高雄人是很熱情的,借錢當然也不囉唆,依據話就搞定。鳳山再過一點點就到達台灣最南邊的屏東,一樣有屏東當舖可以服務缺錢的人,住在台灣真方便,哪裡都可以週轉融資。

有錢之後男人花樣變多了,想輕鬆一下,台中大大有名的就是台中護膚台中指油壓,不去體驗一下怎麼可以呢!食色性也這是孔老夫子講的,想找一些網路上情色消遣,只要關鍵字打上一夜情,視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊,視訊交友,情色貼圖,讓你看的眼花撩亂,爽快不已,E時代就是這麼方便,彈指可取情色
資訊。找女朋友到motel去休息,要挑好一點有情趣的汽車旅館,這種錢是一定不能省的,燈光美氣氛佳才能辦好事。

身體要強、要勇,買花旗蔘來補身一定有用,不過要用加拿大來的西洋蔘功效比較好,不信可以問一下專家的意見,相信他所給的答案就是粉光蔘。

8:32 PM  
Blogger 酒店上班請找艾葳 said...

艾葳酒店經紀提供專業的酒店經紀,酒店上班,酒店打工、兼職、酒店相關知識等酒店相關產業服務,想加入這行業的水水們請找專業又有保障的艾葳酒店經紀公司!
艾葳酒店經紀是合法的公司、我們是不會跟水水簽任何的合約 ( 請放心 ),我們是不會強押水水辛苦工作的薪水,我們絕對不會對任何人公開水水的資料、工作環境高雅時尚,無業績壓力,無脫秀無喝酒壓力,高層次會員制客源,工作輕鬆。
一般的酒店經紀只會在水水們第一次上班和領薪水時出現而已,對水水們的上班安全一點保障都沒有!艾葳酒店經紀公司的水水們上班時全程媽咪作陪,不需擔心!只提供最優質的酒店上班環境、上班條件給水水們。

8:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home