Censorship of Huck Finn?

Censorship of Huck Finn?

Niagara Falls : NY : USA | Jan 05, 2011 at 1:39 PM PST
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Rewriting Huckleberry Finn is ridiculous!

I just read an article on how one publisher wants to change a couple of words in its printing of Mark Twain’s classic tale “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Said words are being altered because they are deemed offensive and politically incorrect.

While the word “injun” – slang for Indian (Native Americans) is heard only on old westerns, it was used by everyone except the highly educated well into the twentieth century. The term Indian when referring to Native People came from Indao; which was first used by Columbus to describe the foreign people he encountered on one of his voyages.

The other word is what is euphemistically called the N-word. This particular slang is heard on nearly every street corner on a daily basis by the same group of citizens who claim the word itself is of offense, and again was used on a wide spread basis by all but the most educated people. The original word from which the slang was derived – Negro – was first uttered, in relation to people, by Christopher Columbus when he landed in what is today Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus referred to the people as Negro – the Spanish word for black.

With all of the problems plaguing the world today, are we so petty and obsessed with being politically correct as to worry over two words written by a legendary man of literature over 100 years ago?

And if we allow this piece of classic literature to be altered, what’s next? Who is the next classic author or piece of work to be targeted for having undesirable words or phrases included in its pages? Will “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” have to be changed because Cuckoo is offensive?

Year’s ago when “fake butter” first came on the market, there was a television commercial where Mother Nature said, “it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature;” well, it isn’t nice fooling generations of young into thinking the world is perfect with no pieces of literature that use the vernacular of the day either.

Changing the wording in a classic like Huckleberry Finn is akin to censorship and violating Freedom of Speech.

Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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News Stories

  • New edition removes Mark Twain's 'offensive' words

      AP Online
    Ala. (AP) — A new edition of Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" plans to replace the N-word with "slave" in an effort not to offend readers. Twain scholar Alan Gribben is working with NewSouth Books in...
  • New edition removes Mark Twain's 'offensive' words

      The Washington Times
    Ala. (AP) Mark Twain wrote that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter." A new edition of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and " Tom Sawyer " will try to find out if that holds true by replacing the...
  • Mark Twain and the N-word

      The Globe & Mail
    Should classic novels be updated to suit modern tastes and mores? An American publishing firm has touched off a controversy by announcing it will publish new editions of Mark Twain's novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in which the...
  • Why 'censor' Huckleberry Finn?

    47 ET A US publisher has reprinted an edited version of Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' because some original words are deemed offensive...He explains to Peter Allen on BBC Radio 5 live that his edition "is just trying to be helpful." "...
  • Huckleberry Finn: The problem of that word

      The Globe & Mail
    To delete the word nigger from its 200-plus appearances in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and replace it with slave, is to evade the problem of education. It is to falsify a world as a precondition for teaching about it. An Alabama-...
  • New edition of Huck Finn omits offensive words

      Seattle Times
    The words used in the book still provoke a strong reaction from most people and they should. This is the very reason that they should be included and left in the original context. People should know the history of our country and we should not try to...





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