“There are a number of notorious banned books that most people have read and heard of, classics that were questioned in their time and gained fame through contention. In past centuries, federally banned books were forbidden to all readers in the United States for their language, sexual content, or questioning of moral values.
While book banning used to aim to protect the greater public from exposing themselves to sinful material, in the modern United States book banning had shifted focus to protecting children. Now, contested books are most often Young Adult fiction and even children’s books - and in the case of children’s books, it is often the illustrations as much as the subject matter that comes under fire. Rather than being forbidden from entering the country outright, contested books are barred from classrooms or public libraries.”
To see Jane Austen’s writing desk, you have to go to the British Library in London. It’s in a glass case in their Treasures of the British Library display, across from one of Shakespeare’s folios and a few cases away from some Beatles sheet music. It is a very small desk, and foldable, designed to be easily stowed away, which it must have been often; Austen wrote in her parlor and would hide her writing whenever callers stopped by. At the British Library it is open, with very small spectacles pinned to one corner and the tiny notebook that held the first draft of Persuasion lying on top of it, splayed flat so you can see Austen’s fine, precise handwriting. Under the shadow of that desk, the disciplined confinement of her novels acquires visceral force. This much space was she permitted, and no more.
In the display case next to Austen’s desk is Dickens’s first draft of Nicholas Nickelby, in a notebook that dwarfs Austen’s entire desk, with generous margins and looping, scrawly handwriting. It is impossible for me to imagine what Austen might have done with that kind of freedom, that kind of certainty of her own right to take up space.
I was inspired by medievalpoc ’s Fiction Week to create my own display of diversity in fiction in my library! I’m displaying both authors of color/LGBTQ/disability and characters of same (because it’s not practical, in the course of a workday, to ask my coworkers to look up biographical information on authors before they out anything out), and I’m limited to adult fiction that’s on the shelf at our branch, but I’m having fun looking for books!
Related: there are not nearly enough fiction books by/about people with disabilities.
“Since the beginning of recorded history, human civilizations have been using ornament and decoration on clothing, buildings, furnishings, and everything in between. These motifs often tell a story about an object’s purpose, its place in society, and its owner’s social standing.Motifs range from organic to precise geometrical patterns depending on the specific culture and time period.
Some of the earliest adopters of ornament for purely decorative reasons were the Egyptians and Assyrians, who were heavily influenced by their environment. Motifs were based on plants and animals specific to the region such as palms, lotus, oxen, and snakes.
Throughout history, with the rise and fall of different art periods and movements, decoration also evolved in style and became increasingly or decreasingly ornamental. Some of the most extravagant examples can be seen during the Baroque and Rococo periods, while much more minimalistic motifs occurred during the Arts and Crafts Movement and Modernism.”
Believe it or not, these vibrant images are not silkscreened, instead they are examples of pochoir, a refined stencil-based printmaking technique popular in the late 19th century through the 1930’s originating in Paris.
Librarians, curators, researchers, bloggers, writers-we all have opportunities every day to create massive change in our respective universes. We’re all making a difference. And that is why I always take the opportunity to challenge rather than just assuming there’s a good reason for these lacks. Most of my benefits of the doubt have already been exhausted, and if you don’t challenge, nothing changes.
In honor of another fabulous Wednesday, the KCC Library would like to highlight Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - GRAPHIC NOVEL STYLE.
Adapted by Troy Little, Thompson’s “savage journey to the heart of the American dream” was destined to be immortalized in four colors. The gutters heave and twist with every new drug the protagonists ingest and Little’s art perfectly captures the coarse mundanity of everyday American consumerism in the heart of Las Vegas, as well as the narcotic induced wonder of every weird and terrible trip that’s taken.
Fans of the original book or the 1998 movie should seriously consider picking up this graphic gem. It is currently a part of our monthly display, “Love the movie? Read the book!”, and is available for check out today! Come and visit us any time.