Complete freedom of expression is impossible in a society that also allows censorship, says the man who has singlehandedly shut down sales of teen novel Into the River.
Don Mathieson, president of the Film and Literature Board of Review, said an interim restriction order – which makes it a crime to supply, display or distribute the award-winning book – was “in the public interest”.
“I’m just applying an act of Parliament … It’s impossible to have complete 100% freedom of expression and any form of censorship of written materials and that’s the tension we all have to live with and if anybody hasn’t got the brains to see that, then, I’m sorry . . . ”
Mathieson, speaking publicly for the first time since he issued his restriction order, said he had read Into the River“sufficiently recently to have a detailed knowledge of it”.
“I can’t comment on the merits of the book. It may have considerable merit and the board will decide whether it has or not. But the question is not how good of a bit of literature it is, but how does the act apply to it?”
His ruling remains in place until the next full meeting of the Review Board, scheduled for October 2. [Read more…]