For the second time in a year, I just began reading Something About Eve by James Branch Cabell. Last time, I gave up on it for the more pressing project of planning our June camping trip. This time, I may put it down in favor of Jurgen, the truly challenged title of his. I had to use my suburban library card account to get at a good online literary reference work (hmm, Cabell being 100 years past, there's probably a perfectly good print reference around here that would have answered it) to check the facts. According to an entry by Joseph Flora in Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature (http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=18749062&site=lrc-live) :
Before Jurgen, C.'s reputation was modest. But on January 14, 1920, John Sumner, executive secretary for the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, assured C. of national attention by pressing charges against Guy Holt of McBride's for publishing an obscene book. In October 1922 the work was exonerated in a famous trial important to freedom of expression in America. Meanwhile, a host of defenders were discovering C. One of his most vocal defenders was H. L. MENCKEN. With Mencken, C. became one of the chief symbols for rebellion against the genteel tradition and for new directions in life and art.
Interestingly, despite the praise Flora and others heap on Cabell in the various entries collected in the Literary Reference Center's database, he doesn't make the cut on the American Library Association's list of challenged classics. And if I am going to link to a list like that, I guess I ought to ask: how many of those have you read?
In other news, Downtown CCL got timers for the public PCs. This kind leaves a little box on my screen, showing me the minutes ticking down. Useful, yet stress-inducing. In non-news: they still haven't weeded non-fiction.
Capital City weather: cool and cloudy