John Waters Reads Steamy Scene from Lady Chatterley’s Lover for Banned Books Week (NSFW)

In case you did­n’t real­ize it, we’re smack dab in the mid­dle of Banned Books Week, which reminds us not to take intel­lec­tu­al free­dom for grant­ed. Hun­dreds of books are cen­sored each year in Amer­i­ca’s schools, book­stores and libraries, many of them works of unques­tion­able lit­er­ary mer­it, books like The Catch­er in the RyeTo Kill a Mock­ing­bird and Huck­le­ber­ry Finn.

The New York Times has cre­at­ed a handy guide out­lin­ing Ways to Cel­e­brate Banned Books Week, while City Lights, the beloved San Fran­cis­co book­store found­ed by Lawrence Fer­linghet­ti, came up with its own way to raise aware­ness. They got film­mak­er John Waters to read a steamy pas­sage from D.H. Lawrence’s con­tro­ver­sial nov­el, Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover. Although orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1928, an uncen­sored ver­sion of the book did­n’t appear in Britain until 1960. And almost imme­di­ate­ly Pen­guin, the pub­lish­er, was tried under the Obscene Pub­li­ca­tions Act. A jury returned with a ver­dict of ‘Not Guilty.’ As you can imag­ine, the lines read by Mr. Waters are not safe for work. You can find Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover housed in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks.

–  Cen­sor­ship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it. Mark Twain

via @GalleyCat

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Frank Zap­pa Debates Cen­sor­ship on CNN’s Cross­fire (1986)

Allen Gins­berg Reads His Clas­sic Beat Poem, Howl

Mike Wal­lace and Ben­nett Cerf (Founder of Ran­dom House) Talk Cen­sor­ship

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