This is a little off-track, but then maybe not. I’m sure many of you heard in the news how Mark Twain’s iconic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is being ‘revised’ by one publisher to remove all references to the ‘N’ word so that the novel can still be taught in schools. Here’s an excerpt to an article about it (this is a commentary, one I agree with):
Why whitewash n-word from ‘Huck Finn’?
By Jenice Armstrong
Philadelphia Daily News
Daily News Columnist
I DESPISE THE N-WORD but not so much that I think it needs to be removed from great works of literature such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” as one publisher is doing.
The racial epithet appears a whopping 219 times in the Mark Twain classic. As a way to get more schools, particularly the ones that have banned it, to teach the historic novel, NewSouth Books has replaced the slur with the word “slave” in the edition that’s coming out next month.
Somebody better call the literature police. (You can read the whole article here)
I’m sure we’ve all experienced books that have changed, ‘evolved,’ you might say. Louisa May Alcott’s first novel, Moods, was practically cut in half when first published and then some of it was restored years later (I have both versions and have begun reading that book, more on in a future post). Then there are books that are printed in abridged versions for children (which I find very annoying – if the book was written for children in the first place, why note present the whole book?).
I’m still plowing through Gone with the Wind and can’t even imagine what that book would be like should it be ‘sanitized.” It would completely ruin the book and probably just reduce it to another love story rather than the epic and iconic historical novel that is.
Political Correctness has run amuck! It’s causing us to change the portrayal of history from those that lived it. An honest presentation of our history is essential to preventing the repeat of past actions.
That’s my take. What do you think of this action by the publisher of Huck Finn?