Friday, January 7, 2011

Changing a book

So I read about this story early this week and wanted to know what your opinion.

A publisher is planning on re-releasing Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn book and replacing all of the n-words with the word "slave".

Here's a link to a news story on the subject.

What do you think? Do you think classics should be changed to be more politically correct or should a book never be changed no matter how offensive the content is?

17 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

Oh! That makes sense with the little headline I saw.

I think a classic should be unchanged, left in its true, original form. Anyone who is offended by the use of that particular word in question doesn't understand the separation of literary creation (especially that which is true to its setting and time) and current life.

Love that picture of you with your soccer ball, Patti!

Angela Felsted said...

I think it's a tad extreme.

Katie Ganshert said...

I think it's more authentic when they don't mess with it, but a nice option for people who otherwise wouldn't read the book because that word is so offensive, but would like to read the book. Interesting question!

Melissa Marsh said...

It's political correctness run amok. It was a period in American history that we need to remember - not run away from or "sugarcoat."

Susan R. Mills said...

Interesting question. I totally think it should be left alone. It was an accurate account of how things were at the time. Yeah, it should remain untouched.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It's a classic for a reason, and should not be changed. Huck experiences a lot of growth throughout the novel, much of it dealing with the offensive and hurtful "N" word. He can't learn he doesn't like the word if it isn't there anymore. Among a million other reasons it shouldn't be changed!! :-)

Jill Kemerer said...

I think the wording should be left unchanged. Books reflect the period's culture. To make it politically correct is like erasing history or pretending there wasn't a problem with race relations back then. It's just wrong.

Melissa Gill said...

This is a tough question I think. Like all writers I respect the power of words, and feel that if people are offended, then having an option of another version is okay. On the other hand, I worry that if we erase a word from literature, then we will forget the history behind it and the damage it caused. That history needs to be remembered so we won't repeat our mistakes.

Candice said...

I don't like it at all. Having the word in the book does not advocate it. It simply reminds us of history.

Colene Murphy said...

Hate it. Just hate it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I agree with the others. It should be left alone. I'm sure there will also be people who will have issue against slave as well.

T. Anne said...

Ugh, this is tough. I say keep the novel at it's original observational level and don't change a thing. I know that's not PC. Have a great weekend Patti!

mshatch said...

An author's work should never be changed to suit the public's mood. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

LTM said...

that's like stripping the wall of sound off the Let it Be album.

Let it Be. :D OK, that came out nerdier than I intended... ;p

Robyn Campbell said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO You can't change the words he wrote. Then it isn't his anymore. I'm STEAMED, girlfriend. Steamed, I tell you. *kicks desk*

Lynn said...

I was hoping you were kidding, but, alas, your not. I believe it is important to keep past writing authentic to the times. How else do we learn from history?

Dara said...

It's ridiculous. Our world has gone overboard with all of this political correctness crap.

Lynn--that's why the same mistakes are made throughout history. We paint over the "icky" parts and forget about them...and then it repeats itself.