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Thread: Book Burning.

  1. #1

    Book Burning.


    NPR Advises Readers to ’Decolonize” Their Bookshelves by Removing White Authors



    National Public Radio (NPR) posted a tweet Saturday urging every reader to begin “decolonizing your bookshelf.”


    NPR
    @NPR





    In essence, "decolonizing your bookshelf" is about actively resisting and casting aside the colonialist ideas of narrative, storytelling, and literature that have pervaded the American psyche for so long, says @itsjuanlove. https://trib.al/VKxyuRp






    Your Bookshelf May Be Part Of The Problem

    Anti-racist reading lists are making the rounds right now — and they can be useful if people do the work of reading. But critic Juan Vidal suggests you look closer to home, to your own bookshelf.
    npr.org








    In essence, "decolonizing your bookshelf" is about actively resisting and casting aside the colonialist ideas of narrative, storytelling, and literature that have pervaded the American psyche for so long, says @itsjuanlove. https://trib.al/VKxyuRp




    According to NPR, “white voices have dominated what has been considered canon for eons.” The public broadcaster advises fans to begin “decolonizing your bookshelf” by removing the works of white authors.


    NPR suggests that “decolonizing your bookshelf” is about “about actively resisting and casting aside the colonialist ideas of narrative, storytelling, and literature that have pervaded the American psyche for so long.”


    They posit:
    If you are white, take a moment to examine your bookshelf. What do you see? What books and authors have you allowed to influence your worldview, and how you process the issues of racism and prejudice toward the disenfranchised? Have you considered that, if you identify as white and read only the work of white authors, you are in some ways listening to an extension of your own voice on repeat? While the details and depth of experience may differ, white voices have dominated what has been considered canon for eons.


    On April 14, 2017, the Daily Beast referred to book burning as “perhaps the oldest form of censorship.”


    The Daily Beast notes that “the Babylonians and their allies burned the library of the scholar King Ashurbanipal in 612 BC when they sacked the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.” They trace burnings into the 20th century: “On May 10, 1933, Nazi youth groups burned some 25,000 “degenerate” books at a large bonfire in Berlin, with radio broadcasts to publicize the event to those who could not attend in person. Books by such authors as Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht, Helen Keller, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, and H.G. Wells were tossed on the flaming heap.”




    similarities between what is happening now and what happened at the start of Mao's Cultural Revolution.


    We are perhaps weeks away from "elites" demanding open white genocide. What will it take for all of you to stand up and fight these people?


    I will NEVER kneel to ANYBODY, and if I see a white person kneeling to a black, there will be serious trouble.


    I have decolonized my media viewing/listening habits. NPR, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, NYT, Washington Post, Politico, Time, Huff Po, Yahoo, Google, WSJ, BBC, and PBS to name a few have all been banned as subversive media. These entities disseminate fact-less drivel. Can't say I miss any of them.



    NPR Advises Readers to ’Decolonize” Their Bookshelves by ...

    07 VI 2020.



    What are coloureds doing in ‘White’ countries? They are not wanted or welcome? This is a one sided move. Their countries are total non-White.

  2. #2
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    And Fahrenheit 451 is becoming more and more a reality with every passing day.

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  3. #3

    The Burning of the Library of Alexandria



    Wrong-think must be eradicated.


    For some time now everywhere Libraries have been censoring by which books they hold or retain.




    The Burning of the Library of Alexandria



    Preston Chesser


    The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them.


    Alexandria was founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. His successor as Pharaoh, Ptolemy I Soter, founded the Museum (also called Museum of Alexandria, Greek Mouseion, “Seat of the Muses”) or Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC. The Museum was a shrine of the Muses modeled after the Lyceum of Aristotle in Athens. The Museum was a place of study which included lecture areas, gardens, a zoo, and shrines for each of the nine muses as well as the Library itself. It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents. The library was so large it actually had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis.


    The first person blamed for the destruction of the Library is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In 48 BC, Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt when he was suddenly cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria. Greatly outnumbered and in enemy territory, Caesar ordered the ships in the harbour to be set on fire. The fire spread and destroyed the Egyptian fleet. Unfortunately, it also burned down part of the city - the area where the great Library stood. Caesar wrote of starting the fire in the harbour but neglected to mention the burning of the Library. Such an omission proves little since he was not in the habit of including unflattering facts while writing his own history. But Caesar was not without public detractors. If he was solely to blame for the disappearance of the Library it is very likely significant documentation on the affair would exist today.


    The second story of the Library's destruction is more popular, thanks primarily to Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". But the story is also a tad more complex. Theophilus was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 AD. During his reign the Temple of Serapis was converted into a Christian Church (probably around 391 AD) and it is likely that many documents were destroyed then. The Temple of Serapis was estimated to hold about ten percent of the overall Library of Alexandria's holdings. After his death, his nephew Cyril became Patriarch. Shortly after that, riots broke out when Hierax, a Christian monk, was publicly killed by order of Orestes the city Prefect. Orestes was said to be under the influence of Hypatia, a female philosopher and daughter of the "last member of the Library of Alexandria". Although it should be noted that some count Hypatia herself as the last Head Librarian.


    Alexandria had long been known for its violent and volatile politics. Christians, Jews and Pagans all lived together in the city. One ancient writer claimed that there was no people who loved a fight more than those of Alexandria. Immediately after the death of Hierax a group of Jews who had helped instigate his killing lured more Christians into the street at night by proclaiming that the Church was on fire. When the Christians rushed out the largely Jewish mob slew many of them. After this there was mass havoc as Christians retaliated against both the Jews and the Pagans - one of which was Hypatia. The story varies slightly depending upon who tells it but she was taken by the Christians, dragged through the streets and murdered.


    Some regard the death of Hypatia as the final destruction of the Library. Others blame Theophilus for destroying the last of the scrolls when he razed the Temple of Serapis prior to making it a Christian church. Still others have confused both incidents and blamed Theophilus for simultaneously murdering Hypatia and destroying the Library though it is obvious Theophilus died sometime prior to Hypatia.


    The final individual to get blamed for the destruction is the Moslem Caliph Omar. In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. Upon learning of "a great library containing all the knowledge of the world" the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library's holdings, "they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city. Even then it was said to have taken six months to burn all the documents. But these details, from the Caliph's quote to the incredulous six months it supposedly took to burn all the books, weren't written down until 300 years after the fact. These facts condemning Omar were written by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebræus, a Christian who spent a great deal of time writing about Moslem atrocities without much historical documentation.


    So who did burn the Library of Alexandria? Unfortunately most of the writers from Plutarch (who apparently blamed Caesar) to Edward Gibbons (a staunch atheist or deist who liked very much to blame Christians and blamed Theophilus) to Bishop Gregory (who was particularly anti-Moslem, blamed Omar) all had an axe to grind and consequently must be seen as biased. Probably everyone mentioned above had some hand in destroying some part of the Library's holdings. The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it.


    It is also quite likely that even if the Museum was destroyed with the main library the outlying "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis continued on. Many writers seem to equate the Library of Alexandria with the Library of Serapis although technically they were in two different parts of the city.


    The real tragedy of course is not the uncertainty of knowing who to blame for the Library's destruction but that so much of ancient history, literature and learning was lost forever.


    Selected sources:

    "The Vanished Library" by Luciano Canfora
    "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons


    · The Burning of the Library of Alexandria | eHISTORY

    08 VI 2020.

    Those who want to control access to knowledge know the value of books.

  4. #4

    Henry VIII, Reformation and Monastic Libraries


    Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII



    The Reformation in Tudor England was a time of unprecedented change. One of the major outcomes of the Reformation was the destruction of the monasteries which began in 1536.


    The Reformation came about when Henry VIII wished to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had failed to give him a male heir. When the Pope refused to grant the divorce, Henry set up the Church of England. The Act of Supremacy in 1534 confirmed the break from Rome, declaring Henry to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England.


    The monasteries were a reminder of the power of the Catholic Church. It was also true that the monasteries were the wealthiest institutions in the country, and Henry’s lifestyle, along with his wars, had led to a lack of money. Monasteries owned over a quarter of all the cultivated land in England. By destroying the monastic system Henry could acquire all its wealth and property whilst removing its Papist influence.


    The idea was not new. Thomas Cromwell had already helped Cardinal Wolsey dissolve monasteries in the past. First of all, a dossier was presented to Parliament outlining the corrupt morals of the clergy. Henry’s chief minister Cromwell then introduced the ‘Valor Ecclesiasticus’ to find out just how much property was owned by the Church. He sent out royal commissioners to all the monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland.


    This led to the Act of Suppression in 1536 whereby small monasteries with an income of less than £200 a year were closed and their buildings, land and money taken by the Crown. The Second Suppression Act of 1539 allowed the dissolution of the larger monasteries and religious houses.


    Monastic land and buildings were confiscated and sold off to families who sympathised with Henry’s break from Rome. By 1540 monasteries were being dismantled at a rate of fifty a month. After the disposal of their monastic lands and buildings, the majority of monks, friars and nuns were given money or pensions. However, there were some abbots and religious house leaders who refused to comply. They were executed and their monasteries destroyed. Thousands of monastic servants suddenly found themselves without employment.


    Many people, particularly in the North of England, were against the Dissolution. Here the old Catholic faith remained especially strong. In October 1536 a large rebel army of over 30,000 people marched to
    York and demanded that the monasteries should be reopened. This march became known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. The rebels were promised a pardon and a Parliament in York to discuss their demands, and they disbanded. However they had been tricked; Henry gave orders that the leaders of the rebellion should be arrested and around 200 people were executed.


    So what were the immediate effects of the Dissolution of the Monasteries? Firstly, vast amounts of monastic land, gold and silver plate were transferred to the Crown. It is said that the King’s own treasury profited by about one and a half million pounds. However a great deal of the wealth Henry acquired through the Dissolution was spent on his wars with France and Scotland. The gentry and rich merchants who bought the land also prospered.


    One of the saddest legacies of the Dissolution was the loss and destruction of monastic libraries and their precious illuminated manuscripts.






    The monasteries supported a precursor to the NHS until they were privatised....sorry, I mean destroyed......sorry, I mean dissolved. Libraries, breweries, hospices, alms-houses, centres of learning, beekeeping, herbalism, farming and rural and urban industry. Wiped out.


    the destruction of monastic libraries resulted in the loss of many books, but some of the loss was probably mediocre - records of the privileges of the monastery.


    When I visited St. Mary's Abbey in York the docent was honest enough to tell us that Henry VIII had the lead removed from the roof under the pretence of needing it for ammunition. Sadly, as the article points out, valuable manuscripts were also destroyed.







    Dissolution of the Monasteries - Historic UK

    10 VI 2020.


    Destruction of Libraries and records makes it easier to re-write History.




    Arts and culture


    Along with the destruction of the monasteries, some of them many hundreds of years old, the related destruction of the monastic libraries was perhaps the greatest cultural loss caused by the English Reformation. Worcester Priory (now Worcester Cathedral) had 600 books at the time of the dissolution. Only six of them are known to have survived intact to the present day. At the abbey of the Augustinian Friars at York, a library of 646 volumes was destroyed, leaving only three known survivors. Some books were destroyed for their precious bindings, others were sold off by the cartload. The antiquarian John Leland was commissioned by the King to rescue items of particular interest (especially manuscript sources of Old English history), and other collections were made by private individuals, notably Matthew Parker. Nevertheless, much was lost, especially manuscript books of English church music, none of which had then been printed.



    A great nombre of them whych purchased those supertycyous mansyons, resrved of those lybrarye bokes, some to serve theyr jakes, some to scoure candelstyckes, and some to rubbe their bootes. Some they solde to the grossers and soapsellers. — John Bale, 1549.


    Wiki: Dissolution of the Monasteries - Wikipedia


    Arts and culture

    Every social, religious or civil disturbance does this cultural erasure.

  5. #5

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Public Libraries



    “The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man”– T.S. Eliot



    One of the earliest casualties of the COVID-19 lockdown was the public library. It seemed evident, even in the weeks leading up to its demise, that this unusually vibrant and very necessary hub of community life was destined for closure – especially given its unique feature as a “hands on” sort of venue where people are frequently handling the same physical materials day in, day out.



    After all, the library is a place where people are continuously leafing through pages that have been pinched, pressed, folded and gently tugged at by hundreds (if not thousands) of other patrons. Not to mention the casual touching and fondling of the many covers and spines themselves, as is the nature of some casual strollers to simply pull a book out from the shelf, examine its exterior and simply slide it back in among the other volumes before trailing their finger along the rest of the row, as though they were reading Braille.



    To be sure, the public library is a hub of physical touch just as much as it is one of community and social gathering. People come to such a place for that very reason; to feel and to experience. For this reason, perhaps it is one of those rare and special exemptions in our current climate of germ phobia that we actually don’t mind fondling something that has been in intimate proximity with a complete stranger (indeed many, many complete strangers), before finding itself in our hands, in our laps, or in our children’s laps for that matter. We don’t seem to care that the very book we are holding in our hands has been in somebody else’s home for several weeks. Likewise, it seldom crosses our minds that another person may have been blowing their nose while reading it or perhaps even kept it in their bathroom for those opportune moments of reading pleasure whenever nature happened to call.



    For that matter, how many of us ever questioned whether these thousands upon thousands of books were ever wiped down, let alone sanitized by the library staff once they were returned? Personally, I’ve always assumed they were returned directly to the shelves in precisely the same condition as they were when they were hastily dropped off by their previous borrowers. A little more worn, maybe, with perhaps a lingering scent of the private home from whence they briefly took residence. And while sometimes noticeable to you and I – the fresh and prospective borrower – did we even care?



    The truth is that we don’t come to a library with nearly the same expectation as when we go to a bookstore. Bookstores, for the most part, are for shopping. Though I would argue that they, too, are fundamentally necessary in our society, they are there to serve a role in the marketplace and thereby aim to provide a product. The bookstore promises ownership; a small piece of collective literary content that we can call our own and with which we either build a private collection or else gift to someone else. It is a sweet and marvelous aspect of human culture, though clearly not a library.



    I would argue that a library (as opposed to a bookstore) exists purely for the transmission of ideas. Like a proverbial union station of sorts, the library is responsible for the transfer of specific content from writer to reader, and thereby facilitates an education of sorts that is quite unique from other community venues. The reader is there simply to access the information provided by the book itself, and is quite happy – once the information has been ingested – to leave the book for others to enjoy and to glean from. Additionally, the fact that the books are considered completely communal in nature, coupled with the understanding that libraries are funded predominantly by the readers themselves through their tax dollars, renders the whole concept of a library as a highly-regarded social agreement of sorts. In other words, the contract is made possible because the community agrees to pay the cost of the operation while expecting, in turn, to be able to benefit from it. Furthermore, every taxpaying citizen expects that the service will be made available in equal proportions to every other citizen as well.






    Public Library Closures: Covid and the Act of Sanitizing ... 30 VI 2020.



    Public Libraries are no longer places to go to and discover remarkable good books. Today they are social clubs for migrants where they have free internet access and are only stocked with romantic 'best sellers' to maintain the pretense that it's a library.

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