Mark Twain to Become Politically Correct.

 

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens November 30, 1835 Florida, Missouri, U.S. Died April 21, 1910 (aged 74) Pen name Mark Twain

A publisher is planning to release a new edition of two of Mark Twain’s classic novels that replaces the racial slurs used throughout the books with less offensive language.
NewSouth Books will release a single volume containing both novels, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, overseen by Twain scholar Alan Gribben, Publisher’s Weekly said. In both, the n-word is replaced with the word “slave” and the word “Injun” is removed.

“This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colourblind,” said Mr Gribben, the head of the English department at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. “Race matters in these books. It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”

The n-word appears 219 times in the current edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, including the table of contents. The racially-charged language has resulted in the book being banned from many grade school curricula and libraries over the decades despite its status as a classic of American literature.

Mr Gribben said he was inspired by speaking with teachers who were disappointed that the language in the book prevented them from teaching it.

“They said ‘we would love to teach [Tom Sawyer] and Huckleberry Finn, but we feel we can’t do it anymore.’ In the new classroom, it’s really not acceptable,” he said. “For a single word to form a barrier, it seems such an unnecessary state of affairs.”

Read the full story in the “Courier Mail”

Again another case of Political correctness gone mad. I feel this will change the whole story line, it definitely would  not be the same book, it would change the story into something it’s not. I don’t agree with this at all , as far as I’m concerned it’s madness. I grew up like so many others learning and reading Mark Twain in English classes many years ago, and I just can’t understand why people cannot see things the way they were meant to be seen.

I would like to know who objects to these books, how many people actually think certain words in the books should be changed, does anyone actually know. Is it the majority of the population? Why are teachers being restrained in this way, it’s ridiculous, are the parents complaining about Mark Twain books? Questions I feel that we will never know the answer too.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain in his gown (scarlet with grey sleeves and facings) for his D.Litt. degree, awarded to him by Oxford University.

Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language. Many of Twain’s works have been suppressed at times for various reasons. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been repeatedly restricted in American high schools, not least for its frequent use of the word “nigger”, which was in common usage in the pre-Civil War period in which the novel was set.

A complete bibliography of his works is nearly impossible to compile because of the vast number of pieces written by Twain (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names. Additionally, a large portion of his speeches and lectures have been lost or were not written down; thus, the collection of Twain’s works is an ongoing process. Researchers rediscovered published material by Twain as recently as 1995.

Learn more about Mark Twain in Wikipedia. See also for larger versions of the photo’s above.

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9 Responses to Mark Twain to Become Politically Correct.

  1. malc50 says:

    Hi magsx2, “Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech …” What will these edits do to his masterpieces? Leviticus 20:13 states: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Are we going to edit the Bible next so as not to offend gays? We need to critically examine historic writings, rather than rewrite and sanitise them.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi malc50,
      Oh very well said, I totally agree, my thought exactly. What will these edits do, I believe they will ruin the works of Twain. You are of course right when you say we need to examine rather than rewrite.
      Concerning the Bible please don’t give them any more ideas, it’s getting bad enough as it is. 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    I don’t believe they are even thinking about doing this, this is history, a lot of the books was written in the civil war era, and that it how it was, you can’t rewrite history, why are people allowing this to happen, it should not be allowed. I agree with what malc50 has said examine historic writings, rather than rewrite and sanitise them.
    That is exactly how it all should be handled.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Sue,
      Yes it’s amazing no one is actually standing up and saying no. I would of thought some teachers would be against this, but this doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

  3. travelrat says:

    I did here they were going to re-make ‘The Dam Busters’, but they couldn’t think of anything politically correct to call Guy Gibson’s dog.

    Another example of political correctness gone wrong … our police were instructed NOT to call a police van, used for hauling villains off to the nick, a ‘Black Maria’ … the American ‘paddy wagon’ came into use for a short while, but that was deemed unacceptable, too. So, now they just call it a ‘police van’

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Very good examples, this is exactly how things can get out of hand, even though the intention in the beginning of all this may have been good, it didn’t take long for it all to start to go in the opposite direction.

  4. malc50 says:

    Hi Travelrat, I had to look up Wikipedia: “Gibson had a black Labrador called ‘Nigger’- killed in a car accident the morning before the air raid and buried on the base just outside Gibson’s office. ‘Nigger’ was the codeword Gibson used to confirm the breach of the Möhne Dam.”

    According to http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/nigger-brown-gone-coon-cheese-next/2008/09/26/1222217491581.html, now that the “Nigger Brown” Grandstand is gone, Coon cheese is next on the hit-list.

  5. bingbing says:

    An opportunity to acknowledge, discuss and debate changing social attitudes is hence lost.

    The edited version would probably still make for a decent class, yet one a whole lot blander and less encompassing.

    Classic Leftist rewriting of history.

    This book has always been progressive, just like society… We’ve always been at war with Eastasia…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi bingbing,
      I totally agree, yes it seems even discussing the way people spoke in the past, is a no go area. It is beyond ridiculous, it’ part of History is should not be changed. I am really upset over this one, I don’t understand why nobody seemed to be up in arms over this.

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