THE BANNED AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Less a celebration and more a literary frown turned upside-down, the 27th Annual Banned Book Week at Skylight Books delivers a "First Amendment Open Mic" through 5 p.m., starring actors, writers, teachers and customers reading five-minutes' worth of their favorite banned books. Some titles on hand for your oratorical delectation: Naked Lunch, Catch-22, various works by Hemingway and Miller, and erotic classics Lady Chatterley's Lover and Lolita. Theoretically of course this also means that one might read five minutes' worth of repulsive sex-murder-orgy passages from Charles Platt's dystopian sci-fi novel The Gas — or, for that matter, Total Abuse, Peter Sotos' notorious meditation on pornography. Much as the true deist embraces scorpions as sincerely as he does kittens, Banned Book Week is a clarion call to understand that censorship knows no bounds, and that an attack on one is an attack on all. Through October 3 (although books are banned year-round).
Sat., Sept. 26, 1 p.m., 2009


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