If we can’t stamp out literature in the country, we can at least stop its being brought in from outside.
—Evelyn Waugh (1903–66) British Novelist, Essayist, Biographer
The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
—Willa Cather (1873–1947) American Novelist, Writer
Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned.
—Heinrich Heine (1797–1856) German Poet, Writer
I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.
—William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) Irish Poet, Dramatist
Here we have bishops, priests, and deacons, a Censorship Board, vigilant librarians, confraternities and sodalities, Duce Maria, Legions of Mary, Knights of this Christian order and Knights of that one, all surrounding the sinner’s free will in an embattled circle.
—Sean O’Casey (1880–1964) Irish Dramatist, Memoirist
Censorship is advertising paid by the government.
—Federico Fellini (1920–93) Italian Filmmaker
I never heard of anyone who was really literate or who ever really loved books who wanted to suppress any of them. Censors only read a book with great difficulty, moving their lips as they puzzle out each syllable, when someone tells them that the book is unfit to read.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canada Journalist, Playwright, Academic, Critic, Novelist
As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.
—Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) British Philosopher, Economist
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
—William O. Douglas (1898–1980) American Judge
Censorship is the height of vanity.
—Martha Graham (1894–1991) American Choreographer
I am still against any kind of censorship. It’s a subject in my life that has been very important.
—Bernardo Bertolucci (1941–2018) Italian Film Director
Fear of corrupting the mind of the younger generation is the loftiest of cowardice.
—Holbrook Jackson (1874–1948) British Journalist, Writer, Publisher
The readiest and surest way to get rid of censure, is to correct ourselves.
—Demosthenes (384–322 BCE) Greek Statesman, Orator