Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Losing focus

NewSouth Books is releasing a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Yay for re-publication of old classics, right?

As Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend".
[they] will remove all instances of the “n” word—I’ll give you a hint, it’s notnonesuch—present in the text and replace it with slave. The new book will also remove usage of the word Injun.
Oh, really?  And why might they do this?
“Race matters in these books,”... “It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.” 
Race matters?  You bet it does.  The thing is, Samuel Clemens was decrying and deriding the mindset and attitudes of a society that used derogatory words like "nigger" and "injun".  He wasn't glorifying them.  By removing those words, you have dumbed down the context, irrevocably severed it from the society it was mocking.  In some respects, the intent of the book has been neutered.

Appeasement by appeasers appeases no one.

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