Tar and Abby

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The editing of Huckleberry Finn

A new edition, for school use, with the 'N' word edited out or replaced.
And all Huck has broken loose.
I asked Daughter (only Ponder child available tonight) if she studied it in school. (Was not the kind of parent who had to examine every school book...) She was pretty sure she did but didn't remember any issues with the language. I know I read it as a kid, but in class or school? I knew, back then, the language was archaic. I do feel for teachers who teach it and run into problems. Same thing happens in AP Science classes here with evolution and creationism. Enough to make a grown scientist weep into his beakers.
It is a trending topic on Twitter and I got a laugh out of these two tweets:

Snooki wrote a book and Huckleberry Finn is being censored. It's official: literature is dead.

Huckleberry Finn is eliminating the "N" word from new editions to be less offensive. Also, Moby Dick will now be called Moby Penis.

Joy, what say you?


mrs. miss alaineus said...

we read the unabridged version in 8th grade at my school. we also read other grade level appropriate books (sounder, roll of thunder, hear my cry) that help the children SEE the racism that existed in the south.

i have never been more offended by the PC movement then now- one of my FB friends made a comment that the next thing would be to censor Anne Frank to make it sound like the secret annex was like summer camp.

you can't water down history to make it nicer.


Tivo Mom said...

I actually have a bit of a problem with this. Don't get me wrong, I hate the word (with a passion) but I am from the south and I feel as if children need to understand where we have been to figure out how far we have progressed. Huck is a classic and I just don't like mucking with the classics. Tell daughter we did not have to read Huck in school but we did have to read Tom Sawyer. I read Huck on my own.

Kyle said...

Froggy, I'm completely against banning books or altering them from the original content. Huck Fin is a classic. It is also somewhat racist and has the "N" word. Unfortunately, it needs to stay as it is, so people don't ever forget where we have came from. This is a perfect opportunity for learning, but we won't take it. We need context now more than ever. People are forgetting where we came from. To erase that ugly word, that ugly truth, would be to erase the trauma, the suffering, the struggle, and the eventual triumph of all those who have been and will be oppressed.

Bob said...

If we politically correct every single book written in a different time to placate the masses of today, we lose all sense of who we are, from whence we came, and how we moved forward.

David Dust said...

We read either Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn in school (I can't remember which). And I remember being personally shocked about the use of the N-word, but I honestly don't recall how my teacher(s) dealt with it. But since I don't remember, it must not have been that big of a deal.

Censoring this or other books basically just says they don't trust the teacher to do the right thing and teach about the history and hate behind that word.

Sam said...

Leave the damn book alone. I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE REFERS TO WORDS, FAG AND GAY AS THE "g" word and the "f" word.
I'm going to blog something about the "n" word.