Because if you don't like the way a classic literary art work is written, you can just re-write it. Literally.
Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of "all modern American literature." Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: "nigger." - Publishers WeeklyI don't like or condone the use of the word 'Nigger' out of context as a derogatory racial slur in life. But in literary work like Huckleberry Finn its a different story. However these two 'scholars' seem to disagree with me. And have decided to grab their pencil and eraser and go to work editing the source of "all modern American literature." Unacceptable. I say.
...two scholars are editing Mark Twain's classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to eliminate uses of the "N" word and replace it with "slave," Publishers Weekly writes.
As PW says, "for decades, [Huckleberry Finn] has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word."
One of the scholars, Alan Gribben of Auburn University, tells PW that "this is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind. ... Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century." NPR: New Edition Of 'Huckleberry Finn' Will Eliminate Offensive Words
Mark Twain defines a Classic as "a book which people praise and don't read." Well I've read it, and it needs to be left alone.
If anything needs to be changed it's the schools curriculum. Do they really believe that keeping things from children is a good way to educate them? Hiding things and keeping kids away from information will only lead to misunderstanding and actual inappropriate use of that information when they do get a hold of it. You should use this opportunity to explain it the appropriate controlled way.
There are countless comments on various accounts of this story that say the book taught them about how the word 'nigger' was innapropriate and not to be taken lightly.
"Learning the 'N' word from Huckleberry Finn taught me not to use it because it was improper, so.. why the change?" - Unknown Tweeter.This is ridiculous, no matter how you look at it. It's no better than when Kirk Cameron and his buddy Ray Comfort decided to 'add a few pages' to The Origin Of Species. There is no good justification for the editing of any literary work. I wouldn't even dream of editing the bible. Even as an atheist. I don't like it or its message, but it's not mine to screw with.
What do you think? The two have said they hope to get the book in more hands this way. Is that an acceptable excuse?
The Revised copy is set to be published sometime in February.