9.13.2006

Authors Fought the Law, and the Law...

Pamuk's problems with the government are well known, but now Elif Shafak is facing trial in Turkey. This is decidedly not cool. My question: what are the notable examples of authors going before courts in America for their fiction? Ulysses is probably a good place to start. Sayeth Judge Woolsely in 1933:

"If the conclusion is that the book is pornographic that is the end of the inquiry... But in 'Ulysses,' in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic."

He also noted that "'Ulysses' is not an easy book to read or understand" and that we should remember that "the characters are Celtic and the time is Spring." Fair.

Has anyone read Shafak? I have not.

As for Pamuk, if you haven't read Snow, you probably should because it's awesome.

3 comments:

Grendel said...

It mentions the EU is watching closely. I don't see how a country that prosecutes speech by fictional characters could ever possibly be in the EU.

Saltwater Farmer said...

Ginsberg's Howl was litigated and it's the subject of a new book:
http://www.citylights.com/His/CLhowlann.html

PJKM said...

I love Pamuk.

Was Lady Chatterley's Lover the subject of a court case here? Or just in the UK?