In 1985, following a complaint from a local reader, staff at the Public Library in Nijmegen decided to remove Charles Bukowski’s book, Tales of Ordinary Madness, from their shelves whilst declaring it “very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals).” In the following weeks, a local journalist by the name of Hans van den Broek wrote to Bukowski and asked for his opinion. It soon arrived.
Look at a picture and read the entire poetic response here.
“If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”–bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males. Only when you write about “bad” white males they don’t complain about it. And need I say that there are “good” blacks, “good” homosexuals and “good” women?”
I think that whoever complained just couldn’t read English or between the lines properly.
(Link: lettersofnote.com, via @ejpfauth on Twitter)