Monday, January 10, 2011

Censorship or A Sign Of The Times?

Any true Bibliophile has a copy of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in their personal library. This is a copy of my personal library. Admittedly I haven't read it since high school, but I keep a copy because it is not only literature, but it is history.

Last week the Literary world was shook up by news that Alan Gribben, an Auburn University teacher, was going to publish a new edition of Huck Finn in which "racially sensitive" language has been removed.

Really? Mr. Gribben is arrogant enough to believe that he can take one of the greatest literary works in all of history and make it better by removing the "racially sensitive" language?As a public domain novel, any one of us can edit and publish the book anyway we want. Heck, we could edit Jim to be Jane and Huck to be Buck. But that doesn't make it right.

Has our world has become so hypersensitive to "Political Correctness" that we need to alter some of the worlds finest pieces of art. What is next? A robe for Michelangelo's David? I understand how upsetting certain terms are for people of all races to read, but works like Huck Finn remind of us why such terms are no longer part of our everyday language.

It is disheartening to me as a Bibliophile and prospective author to think that in 100 years some schmuck may take my work or some of my favorite works and "edit" it to suit the climate of the times. Honestly, I hope Mark Twain comes back to haunt Mr. Gribben and anyone else arrogant enough to try and change his great works of art.

But those are my thoughts, I may be wrong.


Vi said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog from Chicks on Lit at GoodReads.

I agree that Huck Finn should not be censored. I think that it actually does a disservice to blacks in America. Removing those words denies the existence of some of the harsh realities of American past.

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Welcome to my blog, Vi. I agree with everything you said, Vi.

Lizzi said...

I completely agree with you. As literature is art it bothers me when someone comes along and determines that they need to change a piece of art. And I agree with Vi, censoring it does attempt to deny the reality of the past.

Wingnut said...

Charlotte, you are spot on with regards to this matter. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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