Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm

Jennifer Medina, New York Times, May 17, 2014

Should students about to read The Great Gatsby be forewarned about “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence,” as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism–like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “Things Fall Apart”–have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label?

Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.

The warnings, which have their ideological roots in feminist thought, have gained the most traction at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the student government formally called for them. But there have been similar requests from students at Oberlin College, Rutgers University,the University of Michigan, George Washington University and other schools.

The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. The warnings have been widely debated in intellectual circles and largely criticized in opinion magazines, newspaper editorials and academic email lists.


The most vociferous criticism has focused on trigger warnings for materials that have an established place on syllabuses across the country. Among the suggestions for books that would benefit from trigger warnings are Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” (contains anti-Semitism) and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” (addresses suicide).

“Frankly it seems this is sort of an inevitable movement toward people increasingly expecting physical comfort and intellectual comfort in their lives,” said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit group that advocates free speech. “It is only going to get harder to teach people that there is a real important and serious value to being offended. Part of that is talking about deadly serious and uncomfortable subjects.”

The term “trigger warning” has its genesis on the Internet. Feminist blogs and forums have used the term for more than a decade to signal that readers, particularly victims of sexual abuse, might want to avoid certain articles or pictures online.

On college campuses, proponents say similar language should be used in class syllabuses or before lectures. The issue arose at Wellesley College this year after the school installed a lifelike statue of a man in his underwear, and hundreds of students signed a petition to have it removed. Writing in The Huffington Post, one Wellesley student called it a “potentially triggering sculpture,” and petition signers cited “concerns that it has triggered memories of sexual assault amongst some students.”

Here at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in March there was a confrontation when a group of anti-abortion protesters held up graphic pictures of aborted fetuses and a pregnant professor of feminist studies tried to destroy the posters, saying they triggered a sense of fear in her. After she was arrested on vandalism, battery and robbery charges, more than 1,000 students signed a petition of support for her, saying the university should impose greater restrictions on potentially trigger-inducing content. (So far, the faculty senate has promised to address the concerns raised by the petition and the student government but has not made any policy changes.)

At Oberlin College in Ohio, a draft guide was circulated that would have asked professors to put trigger warnings in their syllabuses. The guide said they should flag anything that might “disrupt a student’s learning” and “cause trauma,” including anything that would suggest the inferiority of anyone who is transgender (a form of discrimination known as cissexism) or who uses a wheelchair (or ableism).

“Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” the guide said. “Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.” For example, it said, while “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe–a novel set in colonial-era Nigeria–is a “triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read,” it could “trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide and more.”

After several professors complained, the draft was removed from a campus website, pending a more thorough review by a faculty-and-student task force. Professors and campus administrators are expected to meet with students next fall to come up with a more comprehensive guide.


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  • dd121

    Leftist need to warned about “The Great Gatsby” just like Muslims need to warned to destroy 1000 year old cultural icons.

  • Dark Crisis

    Wow, this country just gets more pitiful by the minute. What happened to having a backbone?

    • JohnEngelman

      What happened to liberal support for free expression?

      • Disappeared as soon as they got power.

        • Herbert Marcuse. Classic 60s Marxist professor with his article calling for all free speech to be within Marxist boundaries. He inspired a generation of professors, including Obama.

          • Yancy Derringer

            Obama was NEVER a professor, even though he lied saying he was. The lie was repeated so often that the University of Chicago issued a statement explaining he was merely a part-time lecturer. Alas, the lies continue.

          • robinbishop34

            Marcuse must be dancing a jig in hell about now.

          • Alucard_the_last

            This clown was the foundation of Marxist-Leninist of American academia. He claimed to be for free speech as long as it was socialist which translates to against freedom of speech. He was worse than Chomsky.

          • Sangraal

            To be fair, Chomsky defended Robert Faurisson’s right to free speech. Credit where it’s due. There are far worse than him.

      • Lagerstrom

        They never really supported free speech I’d be thinkin’.

    • ElComadreja

      Long gone. Since at lest the mid-60’s.

  • Hard to believe this is the same country where men crossed an icy river barefoot to help win its independence.

    As it is, I wish The Great Gatsby would disappear from common AmLit canon.

    • So CAL Snowman

      That’s a hell of a thing to say old sport.

      • Oldcorporal

        Yeah, I agree. As a retired journalist with 43 years “in the newsroom,” I am opposed to ALL types of censorship, except where it might involve improper depictions of a child. As to everything else, let it all appear. If there is free rein given to publish material from all sides of the political spectrum, then the sides will balance each other out. I suspect that’s why the Left wants only ITS side to be heard — because it knows it can’t win in a fair fight.

        • No censorship required. Just don’t assign it during AmLit courses.

          My problem with TGG was that it was too much afternoon soap opera, not enough blood and guts, even though a murder plays prominently into the plot.

          It’s like I said in the Shakespeare thread awhile back, my fav is Julius Caesar, and as you might recall, one of the things I like about it is its lack of “lovey dovey crap.”

          • So CAL Snowman

            Gatsby is the quintessential American novel in my opinion. Even if you don’t like the plot you have to admire the writing. Fitzgerald’s use of the English language is second to none. I can’t think of another writer who so effortlessly manipulates the English language. Reading Fitzgerald’s prose is like gazing at a Rembrandt, it’s just so elegant and refined, the work of a true master craftsman.

            “The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.”

            That is just beautiful beyond measure.

          • jane johnson

            Give me Faulkner any day.

          • Sick of it

            Faulkner, Twain, Poe, Lovecraft…all better than Fitzgerald.

          • Michael Mason

            Kudos to you friend. I couldn’t even get through the first few pages of a Faulkner book. I guess you have to be a southerner to truly feel his words. I’m more of a Hemingway guy.

          • QuinnTheEskimo9

            Huckleberry Finn is the quintessential American novel.

            Ernest Hemingway declared that “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”

            People either love or hate Hemingway, many say he should have never won the Nobel Prize in lit, but I happen to love his sparse prose. But then I agree with you about Fitzgerald although I prefer his short stories.

            None would win a national book award today; if one expects to win, one must write about gay or other victim issues.

          • Speaking of, there was a proposal to name a cove on Lake Tahoe for Mark Twain, but some “native” activist shouted it down because Twain noticed things about Indians. If that bothers them so much, then they should stay away from northeast Missouri. Plenty of things named for Mark Twain there.

          • BillMillerTime

            Twain fought on the side of the C.S.A.

          • LHathaway

            Exactly, this ‘racist’ book, Huck Finn, by which they would shame us, is actually promoting anti-racism, as was the author most of his career.

          • rowingfool

            And when Huck uses the word ni66er, he’s usually offering Jim a backhanded compliment, saying in effect, “Why Jim, you show as much good sense as white folk do.”

            People who object to the book on the basis on the appearance of “ni66er” obviously haven’t read it.

            Ignorance on parade.

            There’s no sin in being ignorant, we’re all born that way. Stupidity resulting from willful ignorance is shameful.

          • ElComadreja

            The funny part is, they call themselves that with abandon.

          • BillMillerTime

            I somehow made it through both high school and college without ever reading it. This was 30+yrs ago, and standards were already in free-fall. Based on your recommendation, I’m not going to go to amazon dot com and DL it to my Kindle.

          • Mason Gull

            This is the typical reaction of a person who only read the book once in high school.

          • So CAL Snowman

            I disagree Mason. Question Diversity is one of the preeminent scholars and intellects on this site or any. While I don’t agree with his assessment I certainly respect it and I highly doubt he read the book once in high school and simply dismissed it.

          • Mason Gull

            Read what he wrote again. There’s nothing intellectual about his disdain for Gatsby, he just thinks it isn’t masculine enough for him. That’s exactly what I and every other male student thought when we were made to read the book in 10th grade, and I would probably still think that if I hadn’t been made to read the book several more times.

          • You are correct about my dislike for TGG not being an intellectual analysis.

            But we also have to allow for people having less than purely cerebral reasons for liking or not liking literature. For instance, I loved 1984, but I also know a lot of people hate it, and I can understand their point. Even though the reason they hate it is not intellectual. It’s the kooky and flaky nature of about half the people that like it, their personalities turn off a lot of people.

            Then again, this is me you’re talking to. The pure intellectual in me loves technology like hybrid cars and electric cars, but my emotional side trumps it, and I wind up despising them not for anything that’s wrong with them, but because of the prissy holier-than-thou sanctimonious environmentalists that drive them.

          • Mason Gull

            There’s nothing wrong with liking books primarily for the story, but that’s a very one dimensional view of literature and you shouldn’t have strong opinions about books that aren’t especially story driven. Yes, the story of Gatsby is very simple, but the book is celebrated for the author’s masterful use of language.

          • jane johnson

            Sorry, but FSF couldn’t hold a candle to either Faulkner or Hawthorne for evocative prose.

          • For the world’s sake, I’m glad that there are lots and lots people not as prosaic as myself.

            As far as a “masterful use of language” to say disappointingly little, sure, that was FSF. It’s also BHO.

          • Three times. Once in high school, once in college, once not long after just to see if my reaction had changed, and it was a grind each time.

          • Alexandra1973

            I had it in my American Lit class in high school, found the Cliff’s Notes to be more interesting.

          • And this is going to be our undoing. When they throw us all into concentration camps, one side of the yard will be for FSF lovers, the other side for FSF haters. We’ll have to keep to our own sides of the yard to prevent violence, but I can see me one day shivving an FSF lover when we cross paths. They’ll throw me into AdSeg, the room will have a bed, a chair, a table, and a copy of The Great Gatsby.

            Unusual and just a tad cruel.

        • Anna Tree

          They feminized the men, masculinized the women, adultized the kids and now they want to juvelinize the adults…

          • Alexandra1973

            It’s like they want a kind of equilibrium. As for the gender part, the ideal is androgyny.

            Forget that. I wear my hair long and I wear clothes that are obviously women’s clothes.

        • LHathaway

          They won. And we’ve had 50 years of results to show for it. High crime, high ilegitimacy, lower grades, there is no measurably standard by which this nation has improved. Quite, quite, the opposite. But don’t expect the main stream media to mention this. Even our economy seems as though it may be threatened.

          Oh, diversity is up. There is one standard by which this nation has improved.

    • Michael Mason

      Yeah, I agree. In it, Fitzgerald uses the character of Tom Buchanan to parody Madison Grant, whose views I think are perfectly plausible. (you didn’t see that coming)

  • dcc2379

    Colleges want diversity in everything except thoughts. The pansy generation lusts after self-gratification in everything, from sex to drugs to games to academia. There are no vices except to hate white people by stereotyping them under the banner of white privilege. Real academia is brutal and a never-ending search for truth, and each truth exposes one’s one ineptitude. Such challenges must be avoided, which does benefit many races that lack the moral and intellectual stamina.

    • Beautifully said and 100 percent accurate. But universities get more money the more problems they have. Diversity creates problems and funding comes in to create diversiyt programs, etc. A prof’s salary can double when they’re put in charge of one of these nonsensical offices or programs.

      • connorhus

        Exactly Follow the Money.

  • Homo_Occidentalis

    The feminization of America continues unabated. The radical Marxists in power won’t be happy until we’ve become a nation of geldings, apologetic for the literary achievements of our forebears.

    • rowingfool

      “Feminization”… You got that right.

      And not “just apologetic for the literary achievements of our forebears” but apologetic for slaves our forebearers never owned and oppression they had no hand in.

      • Alexandra1973

        The bad part is…if we females act feminine, somehow we’re being doormats.

        • LovelyNordicHeidi

          Absolutely true. I’m being looked down upon because of my conscious choice to stay at home for my daughter. To some folks, it’s as if I’ve committed the worst crime in the world. Seriously.

          • Alexandra1973

            Oh yeah, you’re not out breaking the glass ceiling…as if it matters in the grand scheme of things.

            Being there for your child and as a result making them into good, honest, productive citizens…that makes a LOT more of an impact, the way I see it.

          • LovelyNordicHeidi

            I say: Which woman would ever wish for a better career instead of kids at her deathbed? Chances are, if you believed all the careertard BS and had no kids, you will not even be able to share your last thoughts with anyone at your deathbed. Sounds rather lonely to me, doesn’t it?

          • Alexandra1973

            I only have one and wish I had more.

          • LovelyNordicHeidi

            I have a one-year-old daughter. She looks just like me. When she was born, I was shocked how much she resembles me. Everything suddenly made sense. Life made sense when I saw her and held her for the first time. Most emotional moment in my life….. I can’t describe it.

          • Lagerstrom

            My little boy looks like me, it’s brilliant, and I’m his dad. Imagine how his mother feels.

          • ncpride

            I’ve run into the same thing before. It shouldn’t, but it still surprises me at the reaction I get when describing myself as a homemaker. Sort of like….Oh, is that all you do? Like I’m lazy or unimportant. And this from other women, no less.

          • Who Me?

            Yep. I’ve gone into a doctor’s office for the first time, and giving the woman behind the desk answers to her little questionnaire, when asked my job, I would say, “stay-at-home-mother” and see just that hint of a lifted eyebrow, just the tiny bit of a supercilious smirk… then that almighty “Ahhh, you don’t work” comment. Hell yes lady, I probably work harder every day than you do in a month–and where’s YOUR child?

          • kikz2

            You can stop that cold with some variation of the response… “I’m fortunate, in that my husband and I can do w/o my salary, it allows me to stay at home and raise our children properly”…. >

            …her child is probably off in some horrible pre-school being taught how not to behave, and/or being bitten or worse……..>

          • Uncle_Dan

            You’re doing the most important job. Keep it up and hold your head high. You’re daughter’ll thank you some day, the best reward.

          • Lagerstrom

            Same again for yo LNH, don’t let the buggers get you down. Keep on keepin’ on!

          • kikz2

            Dear Heidi, they’re most probably just envious, that their husbands’ salaries can’t let them afford to stay home, or they’re jealous that you are willing to put in the time/effort to bring up your own children, as most don’t have that kind long-haul intestinal fortitude/commitment. They would stupidly rather work, to pay someone else to look after them or not, as is usually the case. Their opinions don’t & won’t matter a whit, you’re fulfilling your commitment to your children/family…stay strong!

        • JSS

          The only people who look down on genuinely feminine women are obese feminazis who have more body hair then all the polar bears in the exhibit at the zoo combined. Then you have the women who’s mission in life is to life is be as “liberated” as possible until they hit menopause and realize they will never kids. These women typically end up as bitter old crones who live with cats. Of course there are the feminist males who also see White women having kids as an offense against “progress”. These guys are so pathetic that they don’t deserve to be called men and in my book they are honorary cisgenders or whatever their called.

          Why would you care what any of those people think about you?

          • Alexandra1973

            I don’t care. Let them be miserable.

          • Sangraal

            Actually cisgender refers to folks like us – heterosexuals who ‘identify’ as the sex they were born as (ie. factory settings). ‘Breeders’ to the queers. Honestly, get your absurd feminist newpeak right, didn’t they teach you anything in college 😉

          • Alexandra1973

            I actually looked that up on Wikipedia. A related term is “transphobia.”

            These people don’t want boundaries of any kind, whether it’s defined boundaries between nations, or between genders.

          • David Ashton

            Large sections of the “wimmins’ lib” movements, with all their female policy contradictions, have been lesbian-driven from the Sufragettes through “Sappho was a Right-on Woman” to the still (mal)functioning Society for Cutting Up Men.

        • Lagerstrom

          Don’t let the bast*rds get you down!

      • ElComadreja

        And Indians they never slaughtered. I’ve had a bellyful of that one too.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    My God, Leftists are creating generations of pansies. A warning because some fictional passages may offend them? Really? Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” was spot on with it’s critique and warning of college students being encouraged to close their minds to any and all viewpoints outside the Liberal agenda.

    • Part of it is the “students are our customers” mentality that was promoted on my campus. My philosophy was that I was like a fitness coach–I needed to make students feel the pain of thinking. No pain, no gain. The adminstrators wanted coddling, self-esteem building, etc. Funding formulas are based on enrollments on census day one or two years prior. The administrators were desperate to keep ANY warm body on campus until census day. It’s a sick corrupt system that I know well.

    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      Bloom describes how the mission of American universities these past 50 years shifted in the 60s from old-fashioned education to flashy, progressive “social change” — that is the promotion of equality, diversity, feminism, peace:

      “For Bloom, things had gone wrong in the ’60s, when universities took on ‘the imperative to promote equality, stamp out racism, sexism and elitism (the peculiar crimes of our democratic society), as well as war’ . . . because they thought such attempts at social change ‘possessed a moral truth superior to any the university could provide.'” (Rachel Donadio, NYT, 2007)

      • LHathaway

        Doesn’t he mean, black males (of all citizens) possess a moral superiority no others humans could approach? If they didn’t then, they do now.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Bloom’s book really opened my mind some years ago. He saw it all going down and was pretty spot on regarding the decline of liberal arts in education.

    • revilo evola

      Bloom had his own agenda, and it was in large part an effort to push the neocon cultural (Tribal) view. For a better, more in-depth critique of this sort of thing, I suggest you try Wilmot Robertson’s earlier book, “The Dispossessed Majority.” As always, beware of those who seemingly put forth a traditional White European argument, when in actuality their motives are really something different.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        Bloom was a practicing Jewish homosexual who was also a student of the Jew Leo Strauss, an émigré from Hitler’s Germany and one of the major founding influences of neocon ideology.

        • David Ashton

          Leo Strauss is like the rabbi’s bagel, good in parts.

      • LHathaway

        I had a hard time with Closing of the American Mind. I was young, admittedly. Bloom tried so hard to make his arguments in such a subtle or round about way. . as if he were not making arguments at all.

        My take is the book was all about the title, closing of the american mind. The book was quite famous in academic circles and was quite notorious too, although likely very few read it.. I think, around 1993, when peoples (and leftist academics) minds were opened, they were supposed to think, “Oh, that’s what he meant”. So i think the book was much about the title. . and a delayed reaction to it

        • revilo evola

          The first part of his book was relatively spot-on, but was the least interesting. The second was either sloppy, or simple intellectual subterfuge. Bloom wanted to blame American cultural rot on German derived philosophy (with a little Rousseau thrown in), while all the time ignoring: 1) an even more important Anglo philosophical influence [Humean skepticism and late medieval scholastic nominalism]; 2) ignoring or downplaying the influence of Jewish anthropology and so-called social science–Boas and the Frankfurt school, etc.

      • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

        “As always, beware of those who seemingly put forth a traditional White European argument, when in actuality their motives are really something different.”
        Beware. But be selective. Some of those “traditional white European arguments” were advanced in quotable ways — such as the surrender of the Cornell University faculty to the mob (p313):
        “You don’t have to intimidate us,” said the famous professor of philosophy in April 1969, to ten thousand triumphant students supporting a group of black students who had just persuaded “us,” the faculty of Cornell University, to do their will by threatening the use of firearms as well as threatening the lives of individual professors.”
        Is the transformation of the American universities into hothouses of PC garbage captured with such brevity anywhere else?

    • rowingfool

      These students are just demonstrating the truth of the observation that college is not for everyone. They’re just not college material.

      I overheard a professor remark once that college is not “a take” on everyone. A good proportion of the students just don’t ever click in college and these kids, by their own admission, just don’t get it. They are telling us that the curriculum must be modified before they can assimilate it because their own preconceptions prevent them from receiving the message.

      We should honor their views by placing them in a less challenging intellectual environment.

  • Tom Thumb

    They’ve already started changing books like “Animal Farm” and others, so I don’t think this is any big deal. The smarter students will smell a rat, no matter what these liberals try anyway.

    • Alfred the Great

      Other books are being changed like the Bible. And nobody will smell a rat because they have no idea what it said before it was changed.

      • Alexandra1973

        They’ve been tampering with the Bible for quite a long time. I stick with the King James, otherwise known as the Authorized Version. Some “versions” actually contradict each other in different areas, go figure.

      • Tom Thumb

        Sir, I must disagree. These are great books because everything the author puts into writing is logical. When they’re tampered with, bells go off with the more intelligent. The books and everything else they’re being told just won’t jive. Even now, with all the years and years of brainwashing these children are going through, the good ones know something is wrong.

  • Not even the professors can stomach the demands by the “consumers” of education. May the Monster of Politcal Correctness the professors created devour them.

    To show you what jellyfish administrators are like, one place I taught years ago, my student surveys were about 34 out of 35 highly positive, filled with adjectives like “best,” “excellent,” etc. The adminstration focused on the one negative survey–“you need to work on this.” Crazy.

    I’m telling you, when top administators get emails calling out their nonsense Marxism, they get concerned for their jobs. We have a lot of power over them if we would use it. Being hypocrites, they value their jobs more than their Marxism.

    • Oldcorporal

      If a college or university is blatantly leftist in its orientation, a cut-off of contributions from alumni who disapprove will probably get their attention, pronto.

      • connorhus

        You think alumni contributions are as important as they once were compared to Fed money and Fed backed student loans?

        I don’t know the answer honestly but I suspect judging by the overall decrease of my old university sending letters begging for money, that the Fed Government is proving a much more lucrative donor.

  • JSS

    “explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans”.

    While I haven’t been raped I can say as someone who has been both to war and college that college is the more unpleasant. Mostly because being surrounded by the sanctimonious creatures this article is lionizing is actually worse then being in a war zone.

    • Rhialto

      Plus once you’re out, you don’t own FedGov $100,000+.

      From this and other articles on the state of “higher education”, I understand why internet education is gaining in popularity: Lower cost + non-contact with human waste.

    • LovelyNordicHeidi

      Since you went to war, I respect you more now.

      I already respected you, though.

      We need more brave men like you.

      How long have you been in the army?

      • JSS

        I was airborne infantry for almost 8 years. While most Whites in the combat arms are decent people some are hopless patriotards. While Im glad for the training and experience I still wouldn’t recommend any young Whites risk their lives for Amurrika anymore.

  • David Ashton

    “Doublepluscrimethink” (Orwell, 1984).

  • Oldcorporal

    More nonsense from the peanut gallery in academia. Here’s a little news for you folks: Life — REAL life, not life like you’d like to have it — doesn’t come with “trigger warnings.” You learn to deal with these things. If your psyche is so delicate that you have to be protected from anything and everything that might “trigger” something, maybe you should go home and just stay in the closet.

  • Korean guy

    A guy whom I went to university with, apparently just started a serious relationship with a black woman

    • NeanderthalDNA

      He looks part black to me, but what’s the point of the post?

  • So CAL Snowman

    I think the Great Gatsby should come with a warning to young college students as well :

    WARNING! Your feeble, drug addled, hip hop loving, degenerate mind will not be able to comprehend nor appreciate the exquisite command of the English language and sumptuous nature of American vitality displayed in this novel by one of America’s greatest writers. STOP reading right now and go listen to a Jay – Z album, you will be much happier, quisling.

    • I wasn’t aware that TGG was written by Ezra Pound, or Jack London, or T.S. Eliot, or Robert Heinlein. And yes, I have a geographic rooting interest in the latter two.

      • So CAL Snowman

        You really don’t like F. Scott? I would say he is on the level with any one of those writers. His prose is definitely more evocative than Heinlein’s or Pound’s. Don’t get me wrong I love Heinlein and Pound but reading Fitzgerald always gives me goosebumps. I just feel an intrinsic connection to the characters in Scott’s novels and short stories.

      • Mason Gull

        If Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot are American writers, Joseph Conrad is a Polish writer. They were both exceptional poets,

        • So CAL Snowman

          I agree Mason. T.S Eliot moved to England and became a naturalized British subject at the age of 25 in 1914. All of his best known and important work was published after he was a British subject. Ezra Pound was an expatriate and extensively studied Japanese and Chinese poetry. Although I do have a lot of respect for the stance Pound took prior to, during, and after World War 2.

      • Sick of it

        Heinlein would have been one of the greats, had he left his freaky personal business in the bedroom and out of his books. Killed the story for me.

    • connorhus

      While I cannot discuss literature at the level you and the reply comments below can I did have the thrilling adventure of being forced to take a college lit-like course at an HBCU to fulfill a die-versity credit my school was full up on that semester.

      The point is they actually only covered works that had also been made into movies. Like the Shakespeare’s “Othello” and “Henry V” there were some others as well but I noticed that the test material for each section covered the films not the actual reading assignment. So in truth the students did not actually have to read the material.

      I thought that observation went well with your comment. For myself if it didn’t read like a history book I couldn’t get interested in it back then.

  • Berkeley Guy

    Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace.

    Seconded. Biases, fears, prejudices, and mysteries should be challenged. If one cannot attend a college or major research university, then one need not worry since books are available free of charge at local libraries and the libraries on public campuses.

    People can have their trigger warnings, most likely as an asterisked note on the bottom of a syllabus or in some email from one of the many beaurocrats on campus. In either case, people who are not ‘fragile’ can enjoy the challenging aspects of the material as they please.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Cisexim? Do I even want to know?

    • r j p

      Has to do with trannies

    • SlizzardAjeosshi

      Ableism ? The beep is that ? Able people privilege ?

      • Berkeley Guy

        Yes, and luckily you are in Korea, where you will not lose your job because you condescended on ableism. Don’t try to pull that here in the land of the free.

        • SlizzardAjeosshi

          I’m in Hong-Kong but your point holds well: unfortunately i’m freer to express my views here than i would be at home.

          Don’t be too hard on America though: as much as the wackos are currently running the asylum, it is still a great country with an amazing vitality, one where at least some semblance of respect for the concept of freedom of expression is still uphold.

          In Europe you risk to go to jail simply for being part of a far right rock band or saying islam is a fascist “religion”

          People are waking up and smelling the lies, even if they are not Nobe Prize material and don’t know the fine prints of the human dna, more and more they realize multi culti is a disaster in the making

    • Mason Gull

      Cis sexual is the opposite of transexual. It means that you identify with the gender that you were born as.

      It was invented as a derogatory term for normal people.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        Really? People get paid to come up with this? Obviously. Wow.

      • Who Me?

        Well, you learn something every day. Cisexism indeed….snort!

      • Alexandra1973

        They already say heterosexuality is sexism…discriminating on basis of gender.

        That’s where I roll my eyes and say WHAT-ever!

  • Berkeley Guy

    “Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism,
    and other issues of privilege and oppression,” the guide said.

    The list of “isms” is growing quite long. Plato had Socrates discuss the term “justice” and try to define its general meaning for nearly 300 pages in his Replublic. Rather than spend all that time trying to educate your children on issues of social justice for each of the “ism” terms above, note that we live in an extremely competitive world, that grows more competitive and knowledge intesive by the day. Children should not waste their precious development years (and teenagers too) being indoctrinated to feel guilty, but rather should be challenged by rigorous hard sciences, mathematics, and philosophy.

    Oh, and hurrah for realism. 😉

    • awb

      REAL>ideal. OBJECTIVE>subjective. INTELLECT>emotion.

    • jane johnson

      For a public speaking class, we had to choose an “ism” and bloviate for five minutes about it. I chose breedism. My paper was “In Defense of Pitbulls”. For another assignment, we were asked to distill a “famous” speech down to three minutes, and present our versions to the class. Fully half the class chose MLK’s dream speech, but I used Jared Taylor’s great piece on anti-White professors’ culpability in black on White violence. Not popular with my classmates, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an “A” for the course.

      • Berkeley Guy

        Here at UC Berkeley, we learned last semester that MLK’s PhD thesis was plagiarized. According to the professor who told us that, the information is freely available online.

        • jane johnson

          Parts of the “iconic” dream speech were, as well.

  • r j p

    And next the left will just burn the offending books. While they’re at it they might just burn the history department and the history books in the library.

    • Who Me?

      And any history professors that believe in this [email protected]

    • Sick of it

      They don’t need to, having replaced most REAL history books with leftist propaganda. Libraries have to turn out the older books, you see.

      • LHathaway

        No doubt. liebraries contain about 90% left wing driven, accepted or inspired literature. When you get to the movie rental section, surely it must be more then 90%?

        • Who Me?

          Our local city library has a web page and a section where you can suggest new books or books they don’t have. Just for giggles I suggested they purchase “White Girl Bleed A Lot”. I got back a nice little e-note saying they didn’t think it was “appropriate material”.

    • LHathaway

      I certainly would if I came to power. But the books burnt mostly wouldn’t be ‘right wing’ texts.

  • Nothing like a good ol book burning……granted there is no bon fire, but this is not much different.
    America higher education is not what it use to be, each day i hear somthing else that is killing the integerity of the schools from grade school to collage.

  • Tarczan

    After Iran or North Korea sets off an EMP device 100 miles above North America, and the electric grid is shut down for 18 months, we won’t be hearing this idiotic debate for awhile.

  • fgbrunner3

    Leftists need to be warned about anything that would confuse a toddler.

  • Who Me?

    I read most of these classics in high school, some like Huckleberry Finn in Jr. high. They never induced PTSD or any other “disorder” in me or any of my classmates. I must admit we were all White kids, (except for one little girl who was an adopted Korean War orphan). If college students can’t read these great classics without suffering from horrible social havoc, maybe they need to re-think the whole idea of attending college. But I guess that would require the ability to THINK critically, which seems to be lacking here.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    it could “trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide and more.”

    In other words, we must now ban all speech that anyone might find in any way “offensive” or that they disagree with in the slightest — as long as those who are “offended” are on the left of the political spectrum, that is.

  • QuinnTheEskimo9

    I imagine the real classics of literature that have been a reflection of white culture for 100s of years are now too shocking and horrific for the wilting pansies that attend school now.

    Better to replace those tired old classics in the high schools with something far more relevant: stories about graphic teen sex. No need to notify parents.

    Object? You will find yourself arrested by the police, like this father.

    From here: http //www and com/2014/05/dad-handcuffed-for-protesting-graphic-sex-book/#YPGQvLYwMPCEVDzQ 99

    [The father] Baer said the book goes on-on-on after the sex scene, talking about the girl getting pregnant and wanting to have an abortion.

    “If I stood outside the school and started handing out copies of page 313 of that book, I am confident I could be arrested for the distribution of pornographic material to minors,’ Baer said. “I don’t understand why it’s OK for the high school to require our 9th grade children have to read such material, but I get arrested because I want to object to it. Something here is very wrong.”

  • Luca

    I have a revolutionary idea. Let the students read the material and judge for themselves what they have just read. Who knows, it could lead to independent thought.

  • Ike Eichenberg

    An acquaintance of mine has a deep and intense fear of blacks after being brutally gang raped by several specimens.

    All black men on college compasses should wear a trigger warning, an electronic tracking bracelet and some sort of contraption like this

    • jane johnson

      They should be on college campuses in Africa.

      • Ike Eichenberg

        Well if it takes a college education to teach them how to manually harvest crops or operate a shovel in Africa so be it.

    • RisingReich

      I’m sorry to hear about your acquaintance. Actually, ‘sorry’ doesn’t give any of my emotions on the subject justice.

      Many people fancy themselves on ‘being better than them’ or ‘not stooping’ to their level’, etc, when speaking of revenge.

      Suffice it to say, I’m long past any of that. Let the weak stomached hand that job to those that are capable.

      Justice will be administered, very slowly, and painfully to these cretins.

      • MBlanc46

        “Anybody ever asks you what the sweetest thing is life is–” said Lazzaro, “it’s revenge.”

        Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

        • Lagerstrom

          That Lazzaro fellow was a crazy guy!

          • MBlanc46

            I wouldn’t have said that to his face.

      • Sick of it

        Honestly, I figure it’s cowardice more than taking the high road. How many truly standup people do you know in this modern world?

      • LHathaway

        yes, lol, leftists must get what they deserve. . . .

        Just a joke. . . brother.

  • Brian

    The pussification of America is almost complete. Bring it on, so we can issue the corrective that much quicker.

  • Sue

    For an example of enlightenment in the new America, check it out:

    http://downtrend dot com/71superb/black-debate-team-wins-national-championship-with-gratuitous-use-of-the-n-word/

  • Luca

    Here’s what Swedish Liberals think about free speech:

    “Sweden Democrat Party politician Michael Hess of Karlskrona was sentenced on May 8, 2014 to pay a 32,000 Kroner fine for “hate speech” after writing about rape statistics on Facebook.

    According to the judgment, the statement is not part of a “factual and authoritative discussion” and it thus it does not matter whether or not the statement is true.”

    So obviously the truth does not matter because hurting peoples’ feelings and Liberal censorship and propaganda is more important than exposing people to the truth.

  • OhWow

    What they really need is a giant “WARNING: PC” sticker on each book they did this to. This way people can avoid them.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Has anyone ever tried reading Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce? I remember trying to read it when I was younger, but never made it beyond the first page. The book is hailed as one of the great masterpieces of English literature by some and considered a colossal hoax perpetrated on an unsuspecting public by others. As far as English novels go, it’s considered the hardest one to read and interpret.

    • MBlanc46

      Got through 12 pages. My wife, the English major, got through 7. I heard Salman Rushdie, who read it only because his girlfriend of the time was writing a dissertation on it, call it a “magnificent failure”. As I understand it, it’s written in another language that Joyce made up. While Joyce was writing it, he sent a sample to his patroness. She couldn’t understand a word of it, so he decoded it for her. She replied something on the order of “Well, but what about people who don’t have you to explain it to them?” I’ve heard that it makes some sense if you read it aloud in an Irish accent, but I can’t attest to that.

    • QuinnTheEskimo9

      Here’s an excerpt from Finnegan’s Wake

      “Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer’s rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County’s gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all’s fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe.”

      Ok, now what’s so difficult about that?

    • Got The Dubliners assigned in EngLit in HS, but everyone of us was only assigned three of the fifteen short stories therein.

    • Lagerstrom

      I haven’t read that one, but ‘The Cantos of Ezra Pound’ is a bit of a bloody puzzler!

  • MBlanc46

    If you’re not grown up enough to look the world in the face, you’re not grown up enough for higher education.

  • Alexandra1973

    How about this little tidbit from Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”?

    It’s in Chapter 26: http://www(dot)online-literature(dot)com/upton_sinclair/jungle/26/

    Especially this part:

    Just at this time the mayor was boasting that he had put an end
    to gambling and prize fighting in the city; but here a swarm of
    professional gamblers had leagued themselves with the police to
    fleece the strikebreakers; and any night, in the big open space
    in front of Brown’s, one might see brawny Negroes stripped to the
    waist and pounding each other for money, while a howling throng
    of three or four thousand surged about, men and women, young
    white girls from the country rubbing elbows with big buck Negroes
    with daggers in their boots, while rows of woolly heads peered
    down from every window of the surrounding factories. The
    ancestors of these black people had been savages in Africa; and
    since then they had been chattel slaves, or had been held down by
    a community ruled by the traditions of slavery. Now for the
    first time they were free–free to gratify every passion, free to
    wreck themselves.

    • model1911

      Sounds like and average weekend in Baltimore/Detroit…………………..

      • Alexandra1973

        That was Chicago in this novel. 🙂 Another day in da hood….

  • IstvanIN

    If we had not been infiltrated we could study the great literature of our culture, which is American (real, white American) and English without worrying about offending others. And let the French study French literature, the Chinese Chinese literature, and so on. If one chooses one could study the literature of another culture, that is perfectly fine, but there is probably very little of in the way of great, universal literature. I am sure there is some from ancient Greece, England, Spain and even China that touch on universal themes or topics that all can enjoy. I can even think of a few. But this baloney about “package warnings” on classic books like cigarette packs is absurd.

  • Evette Coutier

    I have an ism for folks peddling is rubbish: retardism.

  • dewdly

    Girls shouldn’t be sent to college. Instead they should be enrolled in special clinics to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • WR_the_realist

    Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student
    requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that
    the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset
    them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic
    stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.

    My, my, students are such delicate flowers these days. Except for the white male students, who are expected to listen everyday to lectures about how wicked they are.

  • willbest

    I can see this. If I were paying $50k a year for a piece of paper that wasn’t going to lead to an employable job, I would want the people I am paying to dance too.

  • SoCal88

    I would be so embarrassed and ashamed if I were in any way associated with these institutions. They have admitted a bunch of worthless ninnies and chronic complainers and troublemakers. Disgusting.

  • Michael Mason

    The Merchant of Venice was made politically incorrect even before Huck Finn. Just shows you who among us are the most devious.

    • David Ashton

      Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Chesterton, Eliot, and many more….architects of The Holocaust….

      • Michael Mason

        Karl Marx… descendant of Shylock and architect of over 60 million systematic killings. He’s the one who coined the term “holocaust.”
        In The Communist Manifesto he writes “all races and classes that cannot adapt to the communist way of life must be purged in the revolutionary holocaust.”

        • David Ashton

          Shylock was a fictional invention like your “quotation” from “The Communist Manifesto”. Its co-author Engels was not Jewish, any more than Stalin, Mao, Mengistu or Kim Il-sung.

          Marx himself, like Freud, was both very Jewish and also “anti-Jewish”. See e.g. studies by Julius Carlebach & Nathaniel Weyl.

          However, Marxism was the original violent revolutionary “inspiration” for the communist movements that led to millions of deaths. See e.g. studies by Steven Rosefielde, David Dallin & Stefane Courtois.

          Some Jews have slated English literature as “virulently” (a favorite automatic adverb) “antisemitic”. See e.g. studies by Bryan Cheyette, Tony Kushner, Anthony Julius, David Mamet, &c.

          • Michael Mason

            The quote is actually from Marx’s diary, not the Manifesto. My mistake.

  • SlizzardAjeosshi

    I hold the English Language very dear, it is a very iterary idiom: what this people are doing can be righteously identified as treason against Civilisation

  • LHathaway

    If you want racism and sexism, no need to go back 100 years. . simply examine textbooks written last week, or last week 50 years ago. Whites and men in them are ignored. Whites and men may as well be un-people who do not exist. When it comes to whites, race does not exist, except as those implied (or sometimes stated) as responsible for any harms done to non-whites anywhere.

    Race-realists don’t support white supremacy, the leftist establishment does.

    To be honest, there is no reason to be angry at leftists. Especially considering no whites have values anymore and most of them could fit right in to any Jerry Springer episode.

    It’s not the censorship. It’s not the ‘anti-racism’ agenda. It’s not the racism and sexism education and ‘tolerance’ training. It’s not the affirmative action, government or private. In and of themselves, it makes no difference if these things exist. Get to the real issue. These things are all anti-white. As they all exist now, they act to dehumanize whites. Or more correctly, they act to dehumanize white men, and only white men.

    All this ‘sensitivity’ stuff could apply to you. You’re a human being, and these things could apply to you.

    Sure, they never will. When white men are denied ‘affirmative action’, too, 60 years of ‘progressive thinking’ and ‘tolerance’ and ‘peaceful integration’ will slowly begin to go down the drain for everyone else. There are limits to hypocrisy. Well, we all know that’s not true, but it will then be opposed, and then all these phony, completely opposite of reality ‘consciousness raising’ will end.

    Railing at leftists is sometimes silly. These programs; sensitivity, ‘tolerance’, affirmative action, would all be great if they applied to whites. Make them deal with this unfairness rather than give them another chance to condemn You as the one who is heartless and unfair.

    • SlizzardAjeosshi

      Your analysis is very solid, i just want do add a quick note:

      Or more correctly, they act to dehumanize white men, and only white men

      Imho this is not entirely true: there isn’t any group more vilified in today’s media than conservative white women

      • LHathaway

        um, what’s a conservative white woman?

        • SlizzardAjeosshi

          Anybody who is not a man-hating communist lesbian supporting 9th month abortions and 80% income tax rates for whoever makes more than 60k a year

          • model1911

            “…….whoever makes more than 60k a year.” Whoever makes more than they make.

  • Lagerstrom

    “Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism,
    and other issues of privilege and oppression,” the guide said.

    Could one of you chaps or chapettes inform me as to the ‘meaning’ of cissexism? They forgot ‘lookism’ by the way…my favourite.
    I believe that if this load of bunkum continues a major percentage of the population are in danger of yawning themselves to death. Seriously, these people have to be the most boring and completely ‘life-lacking’ lot on the face of the earth!

    • Andy

      Cissexism is assuming that people are not transgender.

  • model1911

    A total ban on all isms, this will save mankind.

  • Alucard_the_last

    A few years ago, Yale Press produced a book of controversial and censored cartoons and deliberate left out the drawing of Mohammed that caused the savages in muslim nations to riot.

  • Peter Connor

    Idiocracy is here.

  • MekongDelta69

    “Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.”

    I have never encountered such a generation of wusses and ‘victims’ in my life.

    And the cause of it are all the cowardly Woodstock hippies who hated all of us, because internally they knew they couldn’t hold a candle to us. All of them went into academia, because they weren’t even able to get real jobs. They also knew that’s where they could exert power over people who wouldn’t and/or couldn’t stand up to them. The feminazis hated men, and the hippies who passed for ‘men’ became totally emasculated.

  • Diana Moon Glampers

    Huge numbers of white people would find the presence of a black person “triggering” because of being a victim of black crime. Therefore I propose that college classes should be segregated.

  • Demo P. Seal; PouponMarks

    If the situation does not change, then America will be overrun by more primitive, internally cohesive ideologies and hordes, such as Islamists, Communist/Marxists/Socialists, and Liberal Fascists. At some point counter action in the form of extreme violence against such subversion and loss of the Nation will be the only remedy and recourse.

    • dcc2379

      It already has, and if you visit Detroit, Chicago, and the Mexican border, you can bare witness if you survive.

  • Dale McNamee

    The same “trigger warnings” should be applied to “feminist”, “gay/queer”, etc. literature, using the same “measurements” applied against Western Canon…

    It’s long past time that these colleges should be shuttered and all monies refunded…

  • I don’t know what may be included in the list of works, but I suspect a lot of them were actually the “lefts” own propaganda material to begin with!

    In such cases, they would be campaigning against the pro-multiracial, pro-white guilt material they themselves created for the purpose of racial equality and multi-racialism in general.

    On a similar theme, some retards over here in the UK have complained about a store mannequin that was used to promote the DVD of the film “12 years a slave”. They said the chains and such laid around the thing were “racist”. The display, I believe, was taken down and an apology issued.

    Don’t they realise that the film “12 years a slave” (and many like it) is a tool to drive genuine racial hatred? Should they not be shouting these films down and having “trigger warnings” about anti-white narratives and propaganda?

    Of course, it does not fit the narrative to see things this way, which is probably why my perfectly reasonable comment to the newspaper was not published, as usual.

  • David Ashton

    “History had already been rewritten, but fragments of the literature of the past survived here and there, and so long as one retained one’s knowledge of Oldspeak it was possible to read them. In the future such fragments, if they chanced to survive, would be unintelligible and untranslatable….no book written before 1960 [sic] could be translatable as a whole.” – George Orwell, “1984. Appendix: The principles of Newspeak.”

    • Alexandra1973

      That’s what they’re going for, and that’s why they want old white people to die off already if they don’t surrender intellectually.

  • cecilhenry

    This is part of attempting white Genocide.

    Destroying a peoples culture and history and denigrating their past excellence.

    Keep a note of it for the trials….

  • Medizin

    and Whitism!

  • kikz2

    hmmm, that makes me wonder if anyone has added these latest ‘isms’ to the ‘Two Cows’ list?
    apparently some….


  • FR27

    Is this the Cultural Marxist version of Victorian taboos?