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Huckleberry Finn to be censored

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Divia
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Huckleberry Finn to be censored

Post by Divia » Tue January 4th, 2011, 10:57 am

OMG as if this potical correctness BS hasn't gone far enough. :rolleyes:

Now they are going to offer a new edition of Huck Finn. Give me a break. They are eliminating the N word from it.

Thisis one of the stupidest things I have heard this year, of course the year is still young.


My take on it. Its history. You can't go and change history just because you dislike it.
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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Tue January 4th, 2011, 12:45 pm

Wow. Just wow. I don't agree with it but I guess as long as the original is still available, I'm not completely outraged.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue January 4th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Wasn't the theme of Huck Finn against racialism? By bowderlizing it are they calling it racialist? I'm confused.

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Tue January 4th, 2011, 4:42 pm

How ridiculous! Sounds like the Noddy and Big Ears books by Enid Blyton where they suddenly weren't allowed to mention the word 'gay'. Why? And the nursery rhyme, Baa Baa Black Sheep, was changed to Baa Baa Woolly Sheep or something similar! Madness.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Tue January 4th, 2011, 6:56 pm

I'm shocked, Vanessa. That should have been Baa Baa Sheep of African Descent. ;)

This is ridiculous. Ignoring for a moment that it was written as it was for a reason, how is anyone ever going to learn why a word is or is not offensive if they never come across it in life? If an entire generation grows up not knowing the "n" word at all then someday someone will come across it, use it without a clue as to its origin and meaning, and offend a lot of people.

They should just let conciousness-challenged canines recline in a prone position.
Last edited by LoveHistory on Tue January 4th, 2011, 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: correcting punctuation

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Tue January 4th, 2011, 9:43 pm

I'm really opposed to this sort of thing because it is an attempt to whitewash the past. I just read Tom Sawyer (for the first time, believe it or not) and yes, I found Twain's depiction of blacks and Native Americans painful and demeaning. But that is the way it was. And I think there is value in re-visiting that from time to time, so we can remember where we've come from.

However, I can understand why some might be uncomfortable with it, maybe even offended. To them I would say the solution is to just not read the book. There's nothing wrong with that.

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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue January 4th, 2011, 10:07 pm

Why does everything have to be twisted to mean the most offensive thing possible by a mall minority? In the case of black sheep, all that the rhyme is referring to is black SHEEP, or people who are called 'black sheep' because they earn the mane. It has nothing to do with Africans, whether they are called, Black, colored, or negroes.

We used to have a restaurant chain called Little Black Sambo's, based on an East Indian children's story of how Sambo outwitted four tigers. The story is as common as goldilocks and the three bears in nothern India, but for some reason, it was decided that this should offend members of the African American community! The restaurant changed its name and subsequently went out of business.

Good grief.

Michy, Huckleberry Finn is actually Twain's commentary on the injustice of the system that enslaved people of one color. And very well done, too; making his point through story, sometimes with the tongue-in-cheek backwards logic that Nigger Jim uses when he explains why a man shouldn't speak French--he is factually wrong, but morally, poignantly right.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Tue January 4th, 2011, 10:25 pm

I haven't read Huckleberry Finn, but intend to one of these days.

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Post by Misfit » Tue January 4th, 2011, 11:21 pm

Geez louise. How does the next generation learn from the past if we freaking sugar coat it. Yes, I know that's a nasty word and it's painful to hear it used, as is just about everything involved with slavery but come on...
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Post by Margaret » Wed January 5th, 2011, 12:07 am

Huckleberry Finn is one of the great books of all time. I wouldn't want to read an edited version, myself. However, if many students (or their parents) simply can't get over the frequent use of the n-word in it but would read an edited version when they wouldn't read it otherwise, I say, put out an edited version - provided the cover copy makes it crystal clear it is an edited version, and there's a preface or something that explains how and why it was edited. I would absolutely hate to have the edited version be the first version I read, just because it happened to be handy and I didn't realize it was the edited version.

For example, I was mystified by the Tony Curtis character in the movie version of Spartacus (not even remotely in the class of Huck Finn), because the version I saw was the 1950s censored version which eliminated the reference to Cassius making homosexual overtures to his slave (Tony Curtis). I didn't understand why the slave suddenly ran off and joined the Spartacan rebellion. A non-censored later cut of the film made perfect sense. I'm afraid a version of Huck Finn with all the N-words eliminated might have a similarly weird effect. The whole point Twain was making was that slavery and the pervasive racism in not just Southern society but the whole U.S. was not OK - and the use of the n-word was part of the point he was making about how pervasive the racism was. But it's not the only way he builds his case - the book won't fail to make its case because the n-words are all edited out.

I grew up in Texas at a time when many white people still used the N-word in an offhand, unembarrassed way (in some places, older Texans still do). It was necessary, I think, to totally banish the word from acceptable discourse in order to get people to stop using it. Any use of it is offensive, really - the supreme irony is that this is part of the very point Twain makes in Huck Finn - he used the word in the novel to make people see that it was offensive. I don't think Twain, actually, would be nearly as bothered by the people who want to edit it out of his novel so more people will read it as he would be by the fact that there are still people in this country today who use the word in a casually racist manner. Thank goodness their number is rapidly diminishing.
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