I won't say you all don't have valid points here and there. At the same time I think the reactions are....reactionary;) such as describing a book one hasn't read beyond excerpts as a pedophile's diary. If the best art is that which provokes a reaction, well, there ya go.<quoted text>It seems that the Federally funded 'Common Core' program, however, has gone to the opposite extreme.'Approving' what amounts to the diary of a pedophile, fictional or no, for reading material in an 11th grade literature class? Setting up the framework for a lit teacher to require the class to read it? Even as a life-long opponent of book-banning, I'm not okay with that. There's a line, and that book most assuredly crosses it, IMO. We might as well make the Marquis De Sade a staple of high school libraries. Perhaps we should start offering "The Anarchist's Cookbook" as a science text, as well?
But I get it too, you all ain't condemning the book per se, but questioning it's value on a high school reading list. I ask myself, why did the author include such scenes in what is otherwise a morality tale about self-worth and misplaced ideals? I dunno. Artists - Go figger. Maybe she knows that the prurient stuff grabs our attention (don't it tho'?), while in meantime her true theme can hopefully osmotically sink in.
In any case, at the practical level, it is one book on an entire reading list. The vast majority don't read at all. I can't see the few 17 yr old that do read being harmed by it. Really, what do we envision might happen? I don't think we want to give them credit for the maturity to place it in perspective. I think treating our teens like children is a big reason so many ARE immature. Beyond that, if a teacher chooses to include it in the syllabus, now at least they're guided thru by an educator rather than reading it "in the dark", as it were.
'Cos guess what? Sure as there's ice cream trucks in July, there's a whole host of kids of all ages who would have never heard of this book before the late brouhaha, and now they're going to be looking for it just to read the hot stuff that's got the 'rents all verklempt.
I've never felt threatened by free artistic expression, and resented adults who thought I needed "protected" from it. I feel the same for my three kids. It was our job to raise them with balance and positive self-image, and then shoo them from the nest with heartache and hope. I think a 17 yr old Lit student can handle it. There's art that I consider crap, so I ignore it,'cos Art can only be buried by indifference and neglect. Any attention - good or bad - is the very best way to ensure it's widest possible circulation. It's a conundrum, fer shur, but it seems that's one of the "blessings" of a free society.
In my most humble opinion;)