Mark Twain’s Saucy 1906 Story Formally Unbanned from Library


Happy Banned Books Week! Today marks the first day of America’s annual celebration of the freedom to read whatever we please, whether it be quality literature, soapy nonsense, or something in between. In accordance with the celebrations, earlier this week the trustees of the Charlton Public Library in Massachusetts lifted a century-old ban on Mark Twain’s mildly racy (nude illustrations!) short story entitled Eve’s Diary, causing Twain to write scornfully in a letter that “nobody attaches weight to the freaks of the Charlton Library.” He also wrote, “the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me”. That may be, but we think the decision to repeal the ban on his book would delight him nonetheless. The library tucked two copies onto their shelves this week, and they were — of course — immediately snatched up by patrons.

[via Reuters]