And I greatly look forward to your feedback, Marcia.
What's happened? We've become overly preoccupied with the things that offend us and hell bent on changing them no matter how ludicrous our actions are.
Thanks for commenting,
No, no one has the right to change an author's words, no matter how offensive. It amounts to censorship and once we censor one thing we don't like, where does it stop?
Huck Finn is not a book I particularly like, but our fiction is a part of and reflection of our history. It shows us how things were and it can point us, hopefully, in a better direction.
Thanks for your comments, Alex.
I can only agree with you to a certain extent. Your comment "No matter how offensive" caught me a little.
Just because we have free speech doesn't give us the right to abuse it. Huck Finn is a great example of where free speech is a GOOD thing. It's there to be satirical, inform, etc. (I repeat, I do not agree with censorship in Huck Finn).
Offensiveness for the sake of fluff and gratuity IS something that should be edited. And I'll applaud any editor who actually has the backbone to pull up a writer about that sort of stuff in this 'whine-and-get' day and age.
Thanks for your comments, Sara-Jayne. Well, the word we've been discussing is as offensive as it gets - at least, in my estimation. There are certainly others. Gratuitous use of any word that offends is definitely not acceptable.
I do not think anybody should have this right, especially in a case like this where the author cannot give consent or offer his own changes. The editing process allows for changes, but Twain's editing process is long over!
I agree with you, Marcia, that there is a negative charge behind the words that were used. I think that particular word is reprehensible and has no place in our modern society. However, Twain wrote in a different time. That word was used by the social elite as well as the working class and even the slaves to which it referred. Deleting that word is akin to changing the story of Pride and Prejudice to remove the sexist undertones that were present in society at the time.
If parents don't want their young children reading it, or if black parents don't want their children exposed to that term, I won't interfere with their right to make decisions for their families- and they don't have to read the book. But I believe we can only learn from history if we are willing to really look at history. And seeing a negative, hurtful word can be a talking point and give parents and educators a chance to teach about a period in history that far too many seem so ashamed of that they would rather sweep it under the rug.
I agree, Gina. Instead of removing the word, educators and parents could see this as an opportunity to help a new generation understand where we were and see how far we've come.
I worte a post about a whole Huck Finn fiasco.
Take a look: http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=1303
You brought up a great point. It's been a while since I read the book (sadly) so I didn't recall if Jim was a free man or a slave. If he was a free man, would he still be referred to as a slave so that the N-word could be avoided?
Talk about sacrificing accuracy to PC-gone-crazy.