Monday, November 10, 2008

Anne Rice

Did anyone hear that Anne Rice is apparently born again... Her website.

I never read her vampire stories, but read two of the three Sleeping Beauty books, and The Mummy. There is an essay on her site, a rather poorly written essay for so famous a writer, discussing the value of her older books. She does not mention any of the pre-Anne Rice erotica, such as the Sleeping Beauty books (written as A. N. Roquelaure), and at one point writes:

"The intention here is not to offer these older works to Christian readers. It is simply to clarify what I see as a deep misunderstanding about the nature of these works."

She mentions many classics, describing them as dark stories in whose tradition she wrote. Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, Mary Shelley. She calls forth Dickens as her idol and ideal. She is, rightly or wrongly, placing herself in their company to defend the literary value of her work.

I don't want to start a rant about christianity, but do we really need someone they have battled for so long and finally won to their side saying that they do not need to examine the things they condemn? The lists of most frequently challenged books, according to the American Library Association (ALA, see below), include authors like J.D. Salinger, Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, Maya Angleou, and one of America's greatest minds, Mark Twain. Rice, oddly enough, only appears as Roquelaure, and not since 2000.

Frankly, I only intended to mention this in passing, but after seeing her essay I was a bit disturbed and started typing. The lists of challenged books below contain some insane titles. Great books, and bad books. The Witches by Roald Dahl is there. Personally, I found The Witches offensive. To me, it makes light of genocide, and when you mix that with Dahl's purported anti-semitism it becomes more disturbing. However, there are two differences between me and the people who want this book banned. 1) I actually read it and 2) I would never stop you from reading it.

So, go read a banned book. And if you decide you want to read an Anne Rice book any time soon, get it from the library or used book store. Let her christian books pay her bills for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment