It’s National Banned Books Week, and to celebrate the event we wanted to catch an RC student reading a banned book.
RC student Dan Zimmerman (’13) is holding one of the most controversial items published in the twentieth century: Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.
Henry Valentine Miller, an American writer and painter, had moved to Paris in 1930 and remained there until 1940 when he returned to the United States. Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer between 1930 and 1934, and its content was largely autobiographical. When asked why he chose the title, Miller replied, “It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the wrong path, the necessity to change course radically, to start completely over from scratch.” The book was first published in 1934 in Paris, France. Immediately following its publication in France the United States banned it due to obscenity, and would not consider publishing it for another 30 years. The United States eventually allowed the publication of Tropic of Cancer in 1961, but it continued to be at the center of court trials until the Supreme Court ruled it non-obscene in 1964. Tropic of Cancer is listed as one of the top 100 banned or challenged books in the United States, and it is still considered banned in the country of Turkey.
Is one of your favorite books on the list? Celebrate the freedom to read by checking out a banned book today!