When The Dark was banned in 1965, John McGahern’s life changed dramatically. A story of vengeful clerics, useless unions and disinterested civil servants that stands as the greatest censorship scandal in modern Ireland.
When The Dark was banned in 1965, John McGahern became the focus of a censorship controversy. But what about this coming-of-age novel irked the censors?
Here’s the episode list which ranges from the bizarre to the historically weighty. And yes, the censors were still banning in 1992.
Madonna, Sex (1992): banned after it sold out…
Anon, The Lustful Turk (1828): proper porn with a lot of racist tropes.
Margaret Mead, Growing up in Samoa (1928): scholarly but smutty.
Denis Wheatley, To the Devil, a Daughter (1953): time for more Satanism!
Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (1928): a queer text whose author scandalized London.
Thorne Smith, The Passionate Witch (1941): phallocentric fluffy smut.
Kate O’Brien, 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