Earlier this month Time magazine used the popularity of Harry Potter to look at fan fiction. I was a little surprised to find that not only is the fan fiction universe much larger than I supposed (fanfiction.net alone has more than half a million Harry Potter works and more than 2 million total), but that two LDS authors are in the forefront of some controversy surrounding the genre.
From time to time I see news items about attempts to remove a book from a school libraries and classrooms. The reasons are even appealing at times. One text is bigoted against African-Americans. Another against Asians. But more often the reasons are less appealing (at least to me): Harry Potter is attacked for teaching about witchcraft, The Golden Compass for being anti-religion, many books are attacked for profanity (including, ironically, Fahrenheit 451).
Yesterday, to my dismay, I learned of an attempt by a Mormon parent to get a book removed from a middle school class reading list because of its attitude towards Mormons. The book? A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Continue reading “Responding to bigoted but famous texts”