11 March 2007

Are my books ideological anathema?

This is a comment from someone to one of my books, and to the letter written by Fabian which he found in it. This buyer of Advice to Clever Children sent a message via Fabian’s blog.

I recently bought Celia Greens 'Advice for Clever Children' from a dealer on Amazon. In the book I found a letter written by a certain 'Fabian Wadel' adressed to the Librarian of the Institute of Education at the University of London which says;

"We enclose two complimentary copies of books by Dr Celia Green, which we hope you will accept as gifts to your library" and, "We hope the books may be of particular interest to young people of undergraduate age."

This is dated September 17 2004. I have it now in front of me. Is it at least plausible to surmise that the librarian took one look at this book and was so freaked out by the content that it was immediately donated to another book dealer and put up for sale?

Having read the book myself I can tell you that — if what you describe is true — any academic library would rather accept 10 complimentary copies of Mein Kampf than anything by Celia Green — an ideological closed shop after all.
My comments

Thank you for sending the information about what happened to our presentation of books to the London University Department of Education. It is no surprise; we are heavily censored and it costs us a lot of money (and of course, effort) to get even a few books out into the world.

As usual, my aims and objects are diametrically opposed to those of society at large, so far as I am concerned. I need my books to reach the widest possible audience because those who might give us any assistance, by work, money or moral support, are clearly extremely few and far between. Society at large, and practically every individual representative of it, wants me to remain as inconspicuous, inactive, and as nearly as possible non-existent at possible.

Asking libraries for our books might be of more use to us than buying them, unless (or perhaps even if) you are a person whose bookshelf is frequently visited by other people. But what motive could anyone have for making the exertion involved in asking for one of our books at a library?

You seem to take a very dim view of the objectivity and openness to criticism of academics; of course you are quite right to do so, but the academic world is supposed to be passionately devoted to freedom of expression, as I read only a few days ago, so shouldn’t you sound a bit surprised, or even shocked?