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Powell's Interview: George Saunders, Author of 'Lincoln in the Bardo'
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Black Lives Matter: Recommended Reading
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Beyond the Headlines
5 Responses to "Book News Friday: "Huck" Still Getting Whitewashed (and Is That So Bad?), "Babe" Creator Dies, and More"
January 10, 2011 at 12:39 PM
@dotdotdot: That's a great blog post with a lot of good ideas, namely this one: "If you say that it's appropriate to use the 'n word' in classrooms, but completely avoid using it in your own essay, then you lose a point." @ks: I share those concerns as well. I wish the editor hadn't simply done what appears to be a find-and-replace of "nigger" for "slave," but had instead investigated each instance and replaced it with a contextually suitable euphemism. On the other hand, maybe it would have been better simply to black out all the uses of "nigger" and just make it a redacted book "safe" for schools. Or not... @Michael: Yes, because what's happening with this new edition of
is, random words that are arbitrarily offensive to only one or two people are being replaced on a whim. Spot on. @Denise: You're welcome anytime!
January 9, 2011 at 08:56 AM
I guess my main objection to the the new "PC" version of Huckleberry Finn is the overly simplistic, cut-and-paste manner in which it was (apparently) done. "Slave" is not synonymous with "nigger". Imagine replacing all instances of the word slave in the KJV bible with nigger. Both words have meanings and while "the n-word" is archaic the people it described had, and have, an identity beyond their status as enslaved men and women. Reading Mark Twain should remind us of the fact that these people were, unlike slaves in other societies, racially distinct from their masters and were still being persecuted for their differences a century after slavery ended in this country. Other than that, sure, replace outmoded terms with words modern young people can understand, do it with Shakespeare, with Moses and with Mark Twain but try to keep the original meaning in tact.
January 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM
The Huck Finn debate is a really interesting one. The blog that seems to be doing the best coverage/framing of the debate is Oz and Ends, in my opinion, and I especially like his "rules for sorting through the noise." http://ozandends.blogspot.com/2011/01/cutting-through-huck-finn-weeds.html
January 7, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Some of can only dream of that "magical palace of books"! Y'all's little bookstore is the foundation of my vacation planning! Someday...*sigh*...
January 7, 2011 at 04:34 PM
I find the following words and phrase offensive: zesty, gobbled, gustily, enormity (for enormousness), bemused (for amused), fait accompli. Please excise the preceding, from all texts, as I can not appreciate or tolerate the writing that contains these words. I will be writing, phoning, texting and Tweeting all elected officials until this matter is resolved. For the children, please.
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