Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Literary Censorship in New Rochelle

Yes folks, this is the kind of thing you have to keep a lookout for. What's truly scary about this is that most of the acts of literary censorship that take place in America these days are instigated and carried out by our very own educational institutions.

Students at New Rochelle High School are going to find it difficult to complete their next assignment: comparing the film adaptation of Girl, Interrupted to the best-selling book. In the book, Kaysen recounts her confinement at a Massachusetts mental hospital in the 1960's.

Pages from the middle of the book have been torn out by the school district after having been deemed "inappropriate" by school officials due to sexual content and strong language. Removed is a scene where the rebellious Lisa (played by Angela Jolie in the movie) encourages Susanna (played by Winona Ryder) to circumvent hospital rules against sexual intercourse by engaging in oral sex instead.

"The material was of a sexual nature that we deemed inappropriate for teachers to present to their students," said English Department Chariperson Leslie Altschul, "since the book has other redeeming features, we took the liberty of bowdlerizing."

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