English Teachers and Dirty Stuff

Another Immature Humor Alert
Biology Coloring Book

Obscenity, the Law, and the English TeacherObscenity, The Law, And The English Teacher
National Council of Teachers of English

I plucked this one from the catalog of a small/medium sized public library. Let’s face it, the word obscenity always gets my attention. Think of this as “catalog click-bait.”

This is a summary of a couple of conference papers from 1966. I did find it amusing that a lot of the debate centered on the literary merit of books like Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill.

I did have time to read a couple of the articles and skim the rest. Sorry, there is no nudity and any sexual references are so boring and sanitized, I wasn’t sure they were talking about dirty books. When teachers and librarians have to deal with issues with censorship, along with the sheer volume of crap on the Internet, this really is a book out of time.


Preliminary Premises

Obscenity, the Law, and the English Teacher excerpt


    1. Amusingly, I first read Balzac’s Droll Stories as a 5th-grader. Some innocent librarian had shelved it with fairy tales in the children’s section because that edition had prints by Steele Savage (very revealing!), including on the end-papers; the endpaper illustrations showed lords and ladies promenading with the lady casting a naughty glance at the page holding her train, and because the endpapers looked all medieval and innocent… My parents were amazed at the questions I asked after reading it. 🙂

      That library really needed Marian the Librarian. At least she would have known where to shelve that book.

  1. I will never forget my very first day working on the reference desk. Someone asked me for the book “Thong on Fire”. Sweet, innocent that I was, I had never heard of that book before and kept repeating back to the patron, “The book is called ‘Thought on Fire’?” It must have taken me five minutes to get it right and then I’m sure I blushed. I can only imagine what the council of teachers would have thought of that one in 1966.

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