Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Revisionist's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer



So, I'm sure that you've all heard that NewSouth, an Alabama-based publisher, is endeavoring to give us all a "gentler" Mark Twain in the form of a NewHuckFinn and a NewTomSawyer, with all 219 uses of the word "nigger" replaced with the word "slave" and all uses of "injun" replaced with Indian. (Why I'm surprised they didn't go with "African American" and "Native American", aren't you? Or maybe "Person/People of Color"?) I'm not exactly certain what that replacement is supposed to achieve but evidently it's intended to clean up the book's embarrassing references to a  shameful period in US history enough to keep Huck Finn from being banned from use in high schools. I kind of see a problem with that, as do many other people far better placed to comment than I am. Se├ín O'Driscoll at the Irish Times had a well rounded article on the topic. But far and away, the best I've seen is on Jon Stewart. Enjoy if you haven't seen it!





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