Here’s the episode list which ranges from the bizarre to the historically weighty. And yes, the censors were still banning in 1992.
Sex (1992): banned after it sold out…
The Lustful Turk (1828): proper porn with a lot of racist tropes.
Growing up in Samoa (1928): scholarly but smutty.
To the Devil, a Daughter (1953): time for more Satanism!
The Well of Loneliness (1928): a queer text whose author scandalized London.
The Passionate Witch (1941): phallocentric fluffy smut.
The Land of Spices (1941): a remarkably beautiful book offering powerful critiques of nationalism and religion in Ireland
John McGahern, Deep Dive Part One:
The Dark (1965) : a book that reformed the censorship law deserves proper scrutiny.
John McGahern, Deep Dive Part Two:
The Dark (1965)
The Irish language episode: still thinking about which book…
BONUS Joyce, ‘Ulysses’ (1922): banned almost everywhere *except* Ireland
Another bonus on another uncensored book. It’s a classic Irish noir, full of rainy weather and angsty sex. I have no idea why it wasn’t banned – it’s full of queer plotlines and transgressive sex – but I try to work it out.
The cover of the Pan edition – quirky, just like the book itself
O’Brien was that rare thing: an Irish writer who was never banned in Ireland. A book that was less a plot and more a conspiracy confused the filthy-minded censors.
First edition cover
JoS was the bestselling sex guide that captured the spirit of the 70s sexual revolution. Although it was banned in Ireland, it was openly on sale here. How does censorship work if nobody pays any attention to the law?
Whether cordon bleu or gourmet lovemaking, the illustrations made JoS infamous.
Why did the Irish censors ignore this spectacularly rude book? And why is a novel about a sex-obsessed Jewish man so important in the history of censorship in Australia?
Cover art from the first edition, by Paul Bacon
What happens when a child meets a horned man in a dark forest? A books that explores the nature of evil and decides that sex isn’t the problem.
I love this cover!
A candid, haunting novel about the coming-of-age of a teenage girl. Full of decadent sexuality that would have given the censors a fit of the vapours.
2013 Harper Perennial Classics Edition
How did a subtle, refined war novel earn a ban? Perhaps the faeces and war crimes were more offensive than the barely-there sex.
This is a silly rather than sexy book. Why on earth was such a trashy, ridiculous banned when the censor ignored sex in serious literature?
The 1984 revised edition
Holden Caulfield’s swearing and sex talk has offended many since 1951. This book is now a modern classic but why is a story of a poor little rich kid still read and enjoyed today?