By the ukase of April 30, 1800, the importation of books in any language was prohibited till further notice, and the Hebrew censors at Riga were dismissed. During the 28 months of their activity in office 126 books were confiscated out of a total of 6,225 which were imported.
As the censorship of Hebrew works was never given an authoritative character, the Church refusing any responsibility for conscientious expurgation, books that had once been revised and attested could be again demanded for censorship, either by the Inquisition of another place, or even by the same local Inquisition. Frequently books are found containing five different censors' certificates within half a century; hence it is evident that the certificate of expurgation was by no means equivalent to an ecclesiastical sanction of the expurgated book. The repeated domiciliary visits and revisions of books in the sixteenth century may have been due to the suspicion that some Jews owned prohibited books, such as Talmud treatises. But even after experience had shown how groundless these suspicions were, the authorities did not cease to demand Hebrew books. Even works published with the permission of the authorities ("con licenza dei superiori"), and, hence, examined and sanctioned before printing, had to be produced again and again for purposes of censorship. Furthermore, the conscientiousness of the earlier revisers was sometimes doubted; and they were openly accused of superficiality and negligence in correcting, of unreliability, and even of bribery. It became evident at each new revision that, in spite of the censor's certificate, many books had, either accidentally or intentionally, been left wholly or almost intact: for, on the one hand, much offensive matter had not been expunged; and, on the other, many erased passages had been restored by means of chemicals or had been written in the margin, the severe interdiction notwithstanding. One local inquisition distrusted the other; one inquisitor, his predecessor; all mistrusted the baptized revisers and the Jewish owners. This distrust, increased by repeated denunciations and by the prevailing inclination to harass the Jews, led in Italy to repeated domiciliary visits and to the confiscation or renewed expurgation of Hebrew booksin the old territory of the Pontifical States in 1753 and 1754. This last extensive book-inquisition marked the end of expurgatorial censorship in Italy.
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An absence of censorship might not be a perfect notion, however, it also doesn't mean that the government uses it for its own personal gain by suppressing dissent.
Banned Books That Shaped America | Banned Books …
Mr. Hessler, who has had three of his four books translated and published in China, pointed to the low pay for translators as a big issue facing many foreign authors seeking to publish a high-quality translation of their works in China.
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Censorship proves necessary here.
▰ Books may be used to portray wrong information about individuals or groups that could incite violence against them.
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Numerous blunders were made by the generally ignorant censors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The following striking examples, unlike the fictitious illustrations which, given first in the "Literaturblatt des Orients" (v. 548, vii. 251), have been widely copied, are genuine and attested. Laurentius Franguellus (1575) strikes out the word ("knowledge," not "Talmud") in the prayer "Let us heed all the knowledge of Thy law," ; the verse of the Psalm ; and similar Biblical passages, in which occurs, as though these passages referred to Christianity. Luigi of Bologna (1602) deletes the words in the book (ed. Venice, 1545, § 86), where the cutting of the hair is referred to. Hence he read and took it to mean a cleric (). In the book (ed. Venice, 1546) the same censor strikes out the first words in , ("He who bathes while he holds an insect in his hand,") which he here connected with Christian baptism. Giovanni Domenico Vistorini (1609) deletes the Biblical passage in the book (Venice, 1547, fol. 10). In Abraham ibn Ezra's preface to his Pentateuch commentary the words are stricken out by several expurgators, who evidently took them to refer to the Messiah, to Jesus, and to all Christians, while, in reality, two Karaite commentators, Mashiaḥ and Jeshua, and similar sectaries, are meant.
Censorship | Definition of Censorship by Merriam-Webster
The words to be expurgated were scored through more or less heavily with pen and ink, and sometimes were rendered quite illegible by means of crosslines. In consequence of this heavy crossing with acid ink, the paper in the course of time frequently crumbled, as was especially the case with prayer-books, Bible commentaries, and liturgic works, wherein many so-called anti-Christian passages were treated with unusual severity. At the same time, in many other cases, the ink of the expurgator has in the course of centuries gradually faded and revealed the original text. The application of printing-ink, to render the passage completely and permanently illegible, seems to have been an invention of nineteenth-century censorship. Occasionally the objectionable passage was emended, not by being stricken out, but by the addition of one or more words, such as after , "worshipers of the stars and constellations"), in order to exclude any possibility of applying the word to the holy images of the Christians. Sometimes a totally unobjectionable word was substituted for that erased by the reviser: thus, instead of , that might be referred to the Christians, was inserted the word ("Cuthean") or ("Babylonian"); and for , abbreviated into ("strange rite"), which might also mean Christianity, was substituted , abbreviated ("idolatry"). Still, such emendations can hardly have been made by the Christian revisers, on account of the trouble connected therewith; they were probably undertaken by the Jewish owners themselves, either under compulsion or as a precaution. From the end of the sixteenth century, whenever a large part of the text of a folio, of a page, or even of a column was considered objectionable, the reviser, not taking the trouble to strike out the several expressions and passages, preferred to deal summarily by cutting or tearing out the whole folio or a part of it. This explains for example the absence of several folios from the middle (ch. iii., § 25) of Joseph Albo's "'Iḳḳarim" in most of the Italian copies of the first three editions.