All archives
Previous Issue (10 July 2003) | Current month | Next Issue (12 July 2003)

Quotes of the Day for 11 July 2003 – Censorship

Thomas Bowdler was born at Ashley, England on this day in 1754. In 1818 he released a volume of Shakespeare's plays, "Family Shakespeare," with some ten percent of the original language removed. He said, "Those expressions are omitted which can not with propriety be read aloud in the family." In point of fact, his contribution to the work is, itself, a bowdlerization. It was his sister Henrietta that actually did the editing, but they put Thomas' name on the project to avoid letting it be known that Henrietta understood the naughty bits that she expurgated. (Bowdlerizing the Bowdlers?) Depending on the setting, censorship swings between the foolish and the dangerous. I'd love to know what it would take to put together an issue of Quotes that didn't get bounced by somebody's e-mail content filters, but I guarantee you I won't chop up the quotes to get around them.

Van's signature

The quotes:

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
     - A. Whitney Griswold

Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered.
     - Archibald MacLeish

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but unlike charity, it should end there.
     - Clare Boothe Luce, 1902 - 1987

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.
     - Misattributed to Noam Chomsky, actually Nadine Gordimer

Literature should not be surpressed merely because it affects the moral code of the censor.
     - William O. Douglas, 1898 - 1980

They can't censor the gleam in my eye.
     - Charles Laughton

Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!