Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Censorship? T'was Ever Thus!

This morning's Today in Literature had another great quote I thought appropriate to As If! --

The critics of Brontë's novel accused her of doing more than provoking high, useless emotion in her impressionable readers. They censured her for moral corruption, complaining that her abusive, alcoholic, womanizing villain was portrayed all too forcefully and realistically in her novel. The outcry was so great that, in a preface to the second edition, Brontë felt moved to defend her style and aims:

"To represent a bad thing in its least offensive light, is doubtless the most agreeable course for a writer of fiction to pursue; but is it the most honest, or the safest? Is it better to reveal the snares and pitfalls of life to the young and thoughtless traveller, or to cover them with branches and flowers? O Reader! if there were less of this delicate concealment of facts–this whispering 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace, there would be less of sin and misery to the young of both sexes who are left to wring their bitter knowledge from experience."

Isn't that great?! Clearly, this battle has e'er been fought....


Elizabeth Bluemle
Flying Pig Bookstore


Anonymous Anonymous said...

was this Anne Bronte, talking about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall? (I think I have the title right, but not completely sure... it's been a while). That is my guess, but if pressed it could be either of the others.
Other Brontes I mean.

Thanks for sharing!

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:51 PM  

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