It is hard to imagine today that there were times when some books were banned. But in the past, in the 20th century, there were so many novels that were banned for decades due to non-compliance with moral norms, inappropriate layers of words, vulgarities, and descriptions of open, sexy scenes.
But the ban did not harm the popularity of the novels and the high reading rates, but on the contrary, it created additional attention and interest in such literature. Everyone wants to know, read, understand what is the reason for the restrictions.
In this article we will present 5 novels that were banned at the time, which are now available in Armenian with quality, original translations.
James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922
Probably everyone has heard about Joyce and his “Ulysses”, but not everyone has been able to read that complex and dense postmodernist novel. Joyce was once criticized for the complex structure of the novel, for being too naturalistic and in some places pornographic. As a result, the literary magazine that was going to publish an excerpt from “Ulysses” was arrested. The publishers were forced to pay a fine, and Joyce himself was accused of “disrespecting the British monarchy.” But all this intensified the interest in the book, the copies of the book spread illegally in Ireland, England, and even reached the United States.
“Ulysses” started to be officially published only in the 30s. first in England և in the USA, and here is Joyce’s homeland in Ireland, only from the 60s.
The novel has also been translated into Armenian. Translator Samvel Mkrtchyan.
10 Steps to Not Be Afraid of Reading James Joyce’s Ulysses
Aldous Huxley, Wonderful New World, 1932
The name of Oldos Huxley, one of the key figures in futuristic prose of the 20th century, is traditionally associated with a genre that has found its rightful place in literature: dystopia. Huxley’s Wonderful New World is one of the earliest works of this type of literature. Preceding the famous novels of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, it features a terrifying vision of the future with prophetic accuracy. The events in the novel take place in 2541, when people are no longer born naturally, in fact there is no family, the consumer society has reached the peak of its development.
The novel has references to political, economic, cultural and religious systems, the characters are reminiscent of famous figures of world history of the 20th century. This work by Huxley is published for the first time in Armenian translation.
This novel has long been banned in various countries “because of its pessimistic mood.”
The novel has been translated into Armenian. Refresher: Lilit Hayrapetyan.