Power of the People

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"...Clemens also thanked the library committee for it's "generous action" in having "condemned and excommunicated" his book, thus doubling it's sales." (Mailloux 48)

How hilarious is that! First of all Clemens response to the Concord Free Trade Club is fantastic. How clever of him! I think it just shows how confident he was in his work and wasn't going to let people bring it down.

Secondly, the fact that more people bought the book because it was controversial is so true about anything that is causing some kind of stir in society. Think of Jon and Kate Gosselin- there's drama and everyone wants to know about it and wants to be involved. Or it can go the other way around, meaning people think something is really good and it spread like wildfire. Just say the word "Jonas" to a bunch a tween girls (and maybe me too) and the walls will start shaking because screaming will be so loud.

Basically my point is that large numbers of people can make things happen very quickly and the things that are talked about the most are either controversial things or things that are considered "really good" to the general public. Because the some of the press was saying how suggestive Huck Finn was, people wanted to know, so more copies were sold. These libraries and newspapers really just set themselves up for disaster and encouraged people to read the book as opposed to staying away from it.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/mallioux_the_ba/

5 Comments

You are spot on! Everyone wants what they supposedly can't have - if a book is banned, everyone wants to know why!
Granted, while I don't really care about Jon and Kate, together or divorced!? I do like hearing about other stars - something I can't have as well as very popular. Two things that keep people begging for more.

Maybe this is just a girl thing though :)

Jeremy Barrick said:

With obscurity comes necessity. When something has a market value of "rare" "out of print" or "limited edition", people flock to it.

Jennifer Prex said:

I loved that quote as well. And I agree with you. The best way to get people interested in something--aside from spreading the word that it is excellent--is to label it as controversial.

Sarah Durham said:

Meagan, great observation! I didn't even care about Jon and Kate plus 8 until I saw the grocery store tabloids covered with the divorce. It is something we have all learned that we only want what we can't or is socially unacceptable to have. We have been groomed by the media to only be truly interested in the bad, so for Clemens having his book be so controversial was a blessing.

Jessica Pierce said:

Definitely a good quote choice. It even led to class discussion! You are completely right in comparing the situation to the Gosselin's or the Jonas's. You could even go as far as to say the swine flu had this effect. There is so much drama and fear associated with it, yet most people experience normal flu symptoms (note 'most;' I recognize that some people have truly suffered from the swine.) But for comparison purposes, my statement stands.

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Jessica Pierce on Power of the People: Definitely a good quote choice
Sarah Durham on Power of the People: Meagan, great observation! I d
Jennifer Prex on Power of the People: I loved that quote as well. An
Jeremy Barrick on Power of the People: With obscurity comes necessity
Heather Mourick on Power of the People: You are spot on! Everyone wan