Monday, January 3, 2011


From PW, news that makes the blood of fans of the First Amendment and fans of literature alike run cold. The article, headlined "Upcoming NewSouth 'Huck Finn' Eliminates the 'N' Word" tells of this bowdlerized dual edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which will be published in February of this year by NewSouth. In order to make the book presentable to a contemporary audience, the admittedly deplorable word "nigger" will be removed and replaced with the word "slave." (The word "injun" will likewise be removed, although the article doesn't indicate how it will be cleaned up. "Native American," perhaps? That would certainly ring true to the original text.)

I don't like the words, but I like the tampering even less. 

Do you think the old man is simultaneously rolling over in his grave and laughing uproariously? Yeah, me too.



Jessica said...

Really? Aw that kind of makes me sad. I mean in no way do I approve of the usage of those words, but they were true to the vernacular that was used back then. I feel like a little piece of history is being torn apart.

Vampires and Tofu said...

Oh, I don't like the words either, but the book is a product and reflection of its time. You can't go changing an author's words...gahhh....this really upsets me!!

Lindsay said...

Agree, not sure whether Twain would be offended, flabbergasted, or bemused.

J.G. said...

Ah, yes, the deplorable n-word is too harsh for "contemparary readers" who have no trouble with the words and images of modern books, movies, television, websites and video games. Forgive me. I didn't realize we were all so tender.

Twain would be amused in that dark humor way of his.

Alisha (MyNeedToRead) said...

Really??? No seriously...really?!?! I'm not sure what else to say, other than it's a completely ridiculous thing to do to such a classic.

I do agree with J.G. above, though...Twain would likely have some darkly humorous (and highly witty) words for a move like this. ^_^