‘Only ban subjective accounts’

From the SCMPmore on the withdrawal of books by public libraries…

Chui Yat-hung, who sits on the Public Libraries Advisory Committee, on Wednesday also said that books about local social movements should not be censored if they were factual accounts of political events, rather than subjective ones.

“They are history after all,” he told a radio programme.

…However, Chui also acknowledged the government risked promoting discussions about books it hoped to censor if it disclosed the titles it pulled from shelves.

Cue promotion of discussion of whether Whig, Marxist, etc interpretations of history are ‘subjective’. How many books will be left after all the ‘subjective’ ones are pulled?

…Some books penned by pro-democracy figures, which had been removed from local libraries, were available in major libraries in mainland China. For example, travelogues and martial arts novel reviews by Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee were found on library shelves in Shenzhen, Beijing and Hangzhou.

That would be an interesting twist: people going from Hong Kong to Shenzhen to get banned books.

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10 Responses to ‘Only ban subjective accounts’

  1. Nury Versace says:

    I think I will have to submit my own name to the libraries. My guide to Asian lingerie contains a number of aspersions on the propensity of certain Hong Kong girls to wear Gucci silk over but Chinese department store cotton under. This is clearly a slight on the whole Nation.

    Before I opened my chain of lingerie stores and retired to Florida I was a lowly teacher. I noticed that students in Hong Kong would never buy a book. They had all the latest gadgets but when asked to buy a dictionary they came into class with a torn 1912 edition of something they had filched from their grandparents.

    Hong Kong people don’t read sadly so all these efforts to ban books are a waste of time – overkill, the authorities’ main obsession. No one can be seen holding a paperback book on any underground journey and I guarantee that the only person you will see carrying a hardback book in Central will be Hemlock. You can try going up to him and saying:

    “You are Hemlock. I claim my ten pounds.”

    You never know.

  2. wmjp says:

    OT but:
    DAB lawmaker Nixie Lam says the government could put more effort into helping citizens reproduce…

    The mind boggles.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    I once knew a “Nixie” who worked in the Chinese Palace Nightclub in TST. She could do amazing things with ping-pong balls.

    Don’t tell me…..

  4. MeKnowNothing says:

    Might the inability to reproduce be natural selection at work?

  5. Low Profile says:

    Every honest historian knows that all accounts of history are subjective. For one thing, historians work from past records which in most cases, someone has chosen to preserve. If we could access the records that have been lost or destroyed over the centuries, our stories of the past might be quite different ones. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_destroyed_libraries tells of the sad fates of many great historical repositories.

  6. Stanley Lieber says:

    OT but:

    “China’s special envoy told Ukraine ‘there is no panacea to resolve the crisis’.”

    How’s that so-called superpower thing working out for you, fella?

  7. Vic Hislop - out-of-work shark hunter says:

    “Removing printed books from libraries in the digital age is a stroke of genius on my part” – PK Tang

  8. Mjrelje says:

    @Joe Blow. Really? That is a comment?? ping pong balls too? How old are you?

  9. Cassowary says:

    @Vuc: Many of the removed titles are old, out of print titles that were only ever published in Hong Kong. They were in all likelihood never digitized or only digitized by institutions now too afraid to make them available. The internet isn’t a solution to everything.

  10. Joe 90 says:

    @Nury Versace during my time in HK, when I lived in Wan Chai commuting to TST, the busiest time was when the book fair was on at the exhibition centre. The queues were enormous, blocking the walkways beyond Gloucester Road. From 2014 to 2018 the attendance was over 1 million.


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