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Book with paedophilia, incest & suicide on VCE reading list

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 6 December, 2012 - 9:42 AM
Love in the time of cholera

Will these people never learn?

Every now and again, the people who teach our kids pop up with a piece of stupidity. A book or a play that is totally inappropriate for kids to study.

This is such a case.

Have you read a book called ‘Love in the time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I must say I have not, but this is on the VCE list for next year.

Writing in The Age, a senior teacher at Trinity Grammar says it is totally inappropriate, and people we have spoken to agree.

READ: Sex with a child is not the stuff of the school curriculum

This book includes, as part of the plot of a 14-year-old girl having a sexual affair with a man in his 70s, an incestuous affair. Her HSC school performance drops off, so she kills herself.

SO, kids studying something that arguably legitimises paedophilia and sanitises suicide as a legitimate way out.

The critic, the teacher, is Christopher Bantick. He finishes with his point: “This book is offensive because it says repeatedly that screwing - yes, it's an ugly word - a child is for art's sake, well excusable. Is it? You decide.”

In a time when we have a Royal Commissioner into paedophilia and deep concerns about Youth Suicide, somebody has made a bad error putting this on the reading list.

It is not too late. Drop it.

We are trying to get answers from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

LISTEN: Christopher Bantick speaks with Neil Mitchell:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • Every level and aspect of our education system has been completely subverted by feminist ideology and its feverish off-shoots. I sat and listened outside of my daughter's classroom while I waited for the bell and during that ten minutes I heard several derogatory remarks made about boys. Original sin in the church of Wimmin.

    jim morris Wednesday 23 January, 2013 - 9:37 PM
  • Neil, the fact that you are still referring to the young adults that read these novels as part of their year eleven or twelve studies is proof itself that you have no idea.
    This book should not be branded as a "Book with paedophilia, incest & suicide", as that is not all it is and will give many people the wrong idea about what is actually an incredibly well written book.
    Let me give you another scenario. If the book were to be written about a women of twenty years old and a man of thirty, would it still be deemed inappropriate?
    How about we begin to read books as books and not as guide manuals?

    Harrison Tomkins Sunday 13 January, 2013 - 2:05 PM
  • Neil, you are a radio announcer choosing to comment on a Nobel prize winning authors incredibly intelligent, sensitive and honest novel about unrequited love and life experience, which may I add you have failed to read. Please stop embarrassing yourself with your ignorance of high literature, a subject you are clearly not an expert and stick to what you know, provincial news and sport. Stay well clear of the arts.

    Rosie Wednesday 19 December, 2012 - 8:09 PM
  • Just because we're students, it doesn't mean we aren't capable of reading books based on these themes. Believe it or not, this book isn't the first time themes such as these have appeared in the VCE curriculum. This course is designed for 17-18 year olds, not primary school aged children. We are actually far more mature than you think, and for people to assume that reading this book will cause myself and other students to "legitimise paedophilia" and "sanitise suicide" is actually quite an insult to my intelligence and maturity. Give us a chance.

    Rebekah - VCE Student. Saturday 15 December, 2012 - 8:38 PM
  • The results of the IEA test is no surprise. We should be worrying more about our children being able to read, rather than what they read! Sadly, our children are ranked 27th in the world - that is, behind most countries which don't even speak English as a first language. With the current teacher's union dispute, wanting more money so they can be the best paid in the country, it begs the question - are they the best performing teachers? Obviously theyĆ¢??re failing to lay down the crucial groundwork. Every day I'm reminded in business correspondence that most people under 35 can't even differentiate between - there, their and they're OR you're and your. The Victorian teaching profession needs to get back to basics and focus on fundamentals. The result will then be reflected in their wages, quid pro quo!

    Coralee Wednesday 12 December, 2012 - 10:41 AM
  • After your description from the book, I'm sure MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BUY AND TO READ THAT BOOK!!! I reed it ten years ago and I agree: it isn't for children or inmature and closed main people.

    Carmen Juarez Tuesday 11 December, 2012 - 10:57 AM

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