Going Too Far?

Up is down, left is right, north is south…  the world is a crazy place.

Librarians, once the keepers of the archives, are now reveling in the role of censor. Marion the librarian is back with a vengeance!

Last year the ALA (American Library Association) revoked Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from an award because literal-minded readers among them decided Pa in the Little House books was a racist.  This year they’ve revoked the name of one of their own from an award: the librarian Melvil Dewey (1851–1931), who invented the Dewey Decimal System.  The ALA has  denounced him for his “legacy of antisemitism, sexual harassment, and racism” (Book Riot).    

Here’s what I want to know:  are librarians also eradicating Dewey’s name from his own system?

We’ve come a long, long, very long way since Hollywood spawned the #MeToo movement.

DO YOU THINK ANNE OF GREEN GABLES WAS GAY?  Having read all the Anne books, I am sure she was not.

But Cori McCarthy at Tor.com writes in her article,Fraught With Destiny: Queering L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley and Diana Barry”:

On the outside, Anne of Green Gables is an enchantingly talkative, acutely sensitive, feminist character for the ages. Anne is also a hero for those who have been maligned for being themselves. The attraction for the queer-at-heart audience only magnifies when you take a close look at one of the pivotal relationships in the story: Anne and Diana’s “friendship.” I use quotation marks here because their friendship is indeed crafted like a love story, with parallels to the inherent problems and joy within queer relationships.

Oh, dear.  I think this is a misreading of their friendship.  But perhaps one could make a case that Jo in Little Women is gay.

6 thoughts on “Going Too Far?”

  1. Yes, everything has gone too far these days! I’m not religious, but ‘He that is without sin ….’. The world would be a much better place if people stopped pointing fingers and looked at their own flawed lives. Kicking out Laura Ingalls Wilder and Dewey? These revisionists and ‘close readers’ make me want to spit!

  2. //Here’s what I want to know: are librarians also eradicating Dewey’s name from his own system?//

    Maybe they should go all the way and just get rid of the Dewey Decimal System altogether. I like Library of Congress much better, it allows for more subtleties in categorization. Once you hook up with madness, its hard to find a stopping point.

    1. I wonder if Dewey Decimal is meant for small collections? There seems to be a separation between public libraries and university libraries on this.

      On Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 8:19 AM Thornfield Hall: A Book Blog wrote:


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