Here's what some of the world's most famous authors have said about censorship. Enjoy! :
'Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on a purpose beyond life... We should be wary therefore... how we spill the seasoned life of man preserved and stored up in books; since we see a kind of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdom, and if it extend to the whole impression, a kind of massacre.'
JOHN MILTON, 'AREOPAGITICA', 1644
'Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.'
MARK TWAIN, 'NOTEBOOK', 1896
'If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.'
'The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.'
JOHN STUART MILL, 'ON LIBERTY', 1859
'The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.'
'The fact is that we are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past. In the present ... we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.'
EM FORSTER, 'THE TERCENTENARY OF THE "AREOPAGITICA"', 1944
'Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, for ever.'
NADINE GORDIMER, 'CENSORSHIP AND ITS AFTERMATH", 1990
'Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.'
HEINRICH HEINE, 'ALMANSOR', 1821
'A censor pronouncing a ban, whether on an obscene spectacle or a derisive imitation, is like a man trying to stop his penis from standing up... The spectacle is ridiculous, so ridiculous that he is soon a victim not only of his unruly member but of pointing fingers, laughing voices. That is why the institution of censorship has to surround itself with secondary bans on the infringement of its dignity.'
JM COETZEE, 'GIVING OFFENCE: ESSAYS ON CENSORSHIP', 1994
'Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.'
ALFRED WHITNEY GRISWOLD, 'THE NEW YORK TIMES', 1959
'All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships'
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, ANNAJANSKA, 1919
'We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.'
VOLTAIRE, 'DICTIONNAIRE PHILOSOPHIQUE', 1764
'Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.'
ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN, NOBEL PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, 1972
'You can never know what your words may turn out to mean for yourself or someone else; or what the world they make will be like. Anything could happen. The problem with silence is that we know exactly what it will be like.'
HANIF KUREISHI, 'LOOSE TONGUES', 2003
'If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how then with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books should be banned.'
HERMAN MELVILLE, 'THE ENCANTADAS', 1856
'If a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.'
WOODROW WILSON, ADDRESS TO THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE, 1919
'Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.'
SALMAN RUSHDIE, 'THE GUARDIAN', 1990
'The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.'
SAMUEL JOHNSON, 'THE LIVES OF THE POETS', 1781
'Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.'
THOMAS JEFFERSON, LETTER TO JAMES CURRIE, 1786
'The press is not only free, it is powerful. That power is ours. It is the proudest that man can enjoy.'
'He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.'
THOMAS PAINE, 'COMMON SENSE' 1776
'I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.'