Thursday, May 31, 2012

A moral apotheosis

So, I found myself on the radio with Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne yesterday, talking about ratings, profanity, and YA. Interesting experience.

Do I still think the media coverage of this is a kind of trolling? Yes, I do.

Am I slightly more concerned that there might actually be a reckoning on this and that Maureen Johnson may have to play Frank Zappa on Capitol Hill sometime? Slightly. (Do take 9 minutes to listen to Zappa in Congress, by the way)

Now, for something that makes me happier. This remains my favorite comment on profanity in books:

"True, not a single obscene term is to be found in the whole work; indeed, the robust philistine who is conditioned by modern conventions into accepting without qualms a lavish array of four-letter words in a banal novel, will be quite shocked by their absence here. If, however, for the paradoxical prude’s comfort, an editor attempted to dilute or omit scenes that a certain type of mind might call "aphrodisiac" [Or "gratuitous," if you're Professor Coyne. -AK] (see in that respect the monumental decision rendered Dec. 6, 1933 by Hon. John M. Woolsey in regard another, considerably more outspoken book), one would have to forego the publication of "Lolita" altogether, since those very scenes that one might ineptly accuse of a sensuous existence of their own, are the most strictly functional ones in the development of a tragic tale tending unswervingly to nothing less than a moral apotheosis."

-“Professor James Ray Jr.”

We need more scholars like “James Ray Jr.”.