Huckleberry Finn losing the "N" word?

  • tmm6497

    Posts: 102

    Jan 04, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    Not sure really where to post this, since there is no literature section. But the new edition of Huck Finn is removing the "N" word. I love reading, and stuff like this pisses me off. That book is a classic and should NOT be changed. What do you guys think about it?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/01/04/new.huck.finn.ew/
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Jan 04, 2011 6:03 PM GMT
    That's bullshit, Mark Twain knew what he was doing. Classic works of literature, art, music, movies, etc., should never be "updated", they should always be left in their original form.
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    Jan 04, 2011 6:23 PM GMT
    Are they going to revise the words of To Kill A Mockingbird next? Erasing history is not beneficial for today's society. Is it really offensive? Or can it be seen as an example of the faulty mindsets held by a previous time period?

    I would like to hear some African American perspectives on this. Maybe I'm being ignorant?
  • tmm6497

    Posts: 102

    Jan 04, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    I've talked to some of my black friends and they are upset too. It is completely ridiculous to change it. That book is a classic and is intended to be read the way it was ORIGINALLY published.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Jan 04, 2011 6:52 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian saidI saw this reported. When I was in American HS it was taken out of the library. In Canadian school it was part of the curriculum and the focus was on how it was part of the time. Wwe had to write about how it was no longer acceptable. It was the same with To Kill a Mockingbird. (which was studied in our Grade 9 (freshman year equivalent - for US high schools) as part of learning about that conflicted time.




    I remember that. Our school district tried removing, Huck Finn, To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Metamorphosis, and others from our library. The move actually pissed off a good portion of the student body and many of our parents were supportive and pressured the district into reconsidering. We won but the win felt tenuous at best and we were constantly worried about them pulling the books in the future.
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    Jan 04, 2011 7:29 PM GMT
    To begin with, it's a classic. Also, if this is any relevant, Mark Twain campaigned AGAINST racism throughout his life. There's no reason to do this, really.

    But on a slightly unrelated note, if they seriously do this, then can we PLEASE clean up the language in Their Eyes Were Watching God? It's so damn hard to read.
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    Jan 04, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    I can see where removing it makes sense. I do not think that if Twain were alive today that he would write using certain words.

    However, by removing those words I think that we rob future generations of knowing and questioning history. If you read Huck Finn and are offended it would lead you to question why Twain included those words; was he a racist? Did he mean to cause offence? If you answer no then you start to question what the atmosphere was like and why it would have been acceptable (to the point where nobody even bats an eye) to write those things at the turn of the century.

    Leaving the book intact also shows to the casual observer how far a nation has come. To change the words is to remove a method of measuring changes in attitudes. If we remove the evidence that the past was bad it leaves us thinking that there has been no progress (or at least minimizes the appearance of those changes.)
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    Jan 04, 2011 8:22 PM GMT

    Is it the author of the book narrating and using the word? Or is it the characters using the word?

    It's the characters speaking the language and slang of their time, therefore, NO EDITING.

    -Doug
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian said
    meninlove said
    Is it the author of the book narrating and using the word? Or is it the characters using the word?

    It's the characters speaking the language and slang of their time, therefore, NO EDITING.

    -Doug


    IIRC, the characters do , including the black characters (such as Jim, and "Injun Joe." The narrative voice is that of a character too.


    Exactly. Now, if there was a preface by the author or a write-up by the author at the end of the book ( Steven King likes to do this) and the word was used, then change it.



  • needleninja

    Posts: 713

    Jan 04, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    originality originality, for christ sake isnt there anything not boring around here?
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    Wtf?!??! ughhhh
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:27 PM GMT
    tumblr_lefsv9IflS1qf8yek.gif
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:31 PM GMT
    Which is a great reason to keep the language of characters as they are. Confronting the past helps us move forward, if I may be so trite, lol.

    Just imagine all the books from the past that had characters spouting misogynist stuff, anti-gay stuff, profanity, cruelty to children and animals et al.

    Yikes! It would take banks of revisionists and editors a thousand years to get at them all, and would remove a valuable yardstick that shows how far we've come.

    -Doug

    trying to imagine The Colour Purple sanitized to depict black people as equal back then.. O.o
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:42 PM GMT
    That is just unacceptable ... we might as well begin censoring all movies with the word "fuck" in them too... by removing hte word we are effectively trying to hide ourselves from the ugly truth that was the past of slavery.. you cant get rid of a social evil by trying to deny its existence...

    what next, we take away words such as "cracker"???? or "bitch"??? because they are pejorative to whites and women???
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 04, 2011 9:50 PM GMT
    "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

    This kind of revisionist nonsense needs to stop. If it does not, we are going to be blanded into mental pablum.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Jan 04, 2011 9:53 PM GMT
    tjmeany saidNot sure really where to post this, since there is no literature section. But the new edition of Huck Finn is removing the "N" word. I love reading, and stuff like this pissed me off. That book is a classic and should NOT be changed. What do you guys think about it?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/01/04/new.huck.finn.ew/


    I agree that the book should not be changed...but the article does make a good point about this working to prevent this book from being banned out of fears that more impressionable readers may not get the context of pejorative terms.

    Maybe if the edited version was just for kids' libraries, it might not be so ridiculous?

    I mean, the article's point about TBS bleeping out or improvising curse words from "The Godfather" doesn't exactly cut it.
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    Jan 04, 2011 9:58 PM GMT
    Oh look, leftist PCBS being used to try to paint an inaccurate picture of history.

    Well, at least if the word is removed, then there will be less racism (real in this case, or otherwise) for prtyboy270 to bitch about icon_smile.gif
  • tmm6497

    Posts: 102

    Jan 04, 2011 10:01 PM GMT
    TrentGrad said
    tjmeany saidNot sure really where to post this, since there is no literature section. But the new edition of Huck Finn is removing the "N" word. I love reading, and stuff like this pissed me off. That book is a classic and should NOT be changed. What do you guys think about it?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/01/04/new.huck.finn.ew/


    I agree that the book should not be changed...but the article does make a good point about this working to prevent this book from being banned out of fears that more impressionable readers may not get the context of pejorative terms.

    Maybe if the edited version was just for kids' libraries, it might not be so ridiculous?

    I mean, the article's point about TBS bleeping out or improvising curse words from "The Godfather" doesn't exactly cut it.


    Kids shouldn't be reading it until HS in my opinion, and kids in HS know what the word means and why you shouldn't say it. Parents need to stop complaining about school curriculum.
  • tmm6497

    Posts: 102

    Jan 04, 2011 10:05 PM GMT
    FearTheFall said

    Well, at least if the word is removed, then there will be less racism (real in this case, or otherwise) for prtyboy270 to bitch about icon_smile.gif


    Oh god, don't start this up now hahaha :-P
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    Jan 04, 2011 10:07 PM GMT
    Even I have to say this is stupid! It's like trying to rewrite history!! YOU CAN'T! Good Lord! If you one is writing a period piece you have to stay true the culture of that period!

    Good grief! LEAVE HUCK alone!

    They tried to up date "To Kill a Mocking Bird" there was even a push to ban it from the required reading list. Boy am I glad I had to read both in high school.

    I would like to know who is behind this push to remove the word from the book, and what work or the planning to replace it.

    Any word would be stupid because that not what we were called during that period and that was not the norm the "N" word was.

    There you Staple you got my perspective.
  • hallyhallo

    Posts: 539

    Jan 04, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    tjmeany saidI've talked to some of my black friends and they are upset too. It is completely ridiculous to change it. That book is a classic and is intended to be read the way it was ORIGINALLY published.


    haha, americans and political correctness. It should stay as it is!
  • tmm6497

    Posts: 102

    Jan 04, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    Ducky46 saidEven I have to say this is stupid! It's like trying to rewrite history!! YOU CAN'T! Good Lord! If you one is writing a period piece you have to stay true the culture of that period!

    Good grief! LEAVE HUCK alone!

    They tried to up date "To Kill a Mocking Bird" there was even a push to ban it from the required reading list. Boy am I glad I had to read both in high school.

    I would like to know who is behind this push to remove the word from the book, and what work or the planning to replace it.

    Any word would be stupid because that not what we were called during that period and that was not the norm the "N" word was.

    There you Staple you got my perspective.


    Exactly! It is like they are trying to rewrite history. It's stupid. Let's just pretend racism never happened.
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    Jan 04, 2011 10:16 PM GMT
    If only the PTA ladies had the reading comprehension of 5th-graders. It's not the kids who need the shielding. I might have a talk with kids who are reading such things, but the idea of censoring them is just stupid.

    There was never a hint of such controversy in my high-school's library. Because no such book would ever be allowed within a mile. A teacher was even fired for loaning a student one of her college text-books. I learned about many of these "classics" by hearing other students talk about them in college.

    (There was one thick hard-bound bodice-ripper on the shelf only because it was a historical novel that was set in our town. It had a fairly graphic sex scene in the middle icon_eek.gif I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who ever read it, and I didn't tell anybody.)

    I do have a small collection of boys adventure novels from the 1930's (family hand-me-downs) and the casual racism in some of those is really shocking. It is valuable though, in showing how people thought and why things happened in those times.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 04, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    FearTheFall saidOh look, leftist PCBS being used to try to paint an inaccurate picture of history.

    Well, at least if the word is removed, then there will be less racism (real in this case, or otherwise) for prtyboy270 to bitch about icon_smile.gif


    Actually, the parents who campaign for this are right-wing. They also ban Catcher in the Rye, Alice in Wonderland, Go Ask Alice, anything Judy Bloom, And Tango Makes Three for example.

    http://www.pabbis.com/ complete right-wing ideology
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    Jan 04, 2011 10:36 PM GMT
    calibro said
    FearTheFall saidOh look, leftist PCBS being used to try to paint an inaccurate picture of history.

    Well, at least if the word is removed, then there will be less racism (real in this case, or otherwise) for prtyboy270 to bitch about icon_smile.gif


    Actually, the parents who campaign for this are right-wing. They also ban Catcher in the Rye, Alice in Wonderland, Go Ask Alice, anything Judy Bloom, And Tango Makes Three for example.


    Oh, that kind of right wing. Just as bad as the loony PCBS love-everyone-but-America crowd.