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Publisher censors “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

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A new edition of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is missing something.

Throughout the book — 219 times in all — the word "n----r" is replaced by “slave,” a substitution that was made by NewSouth Books, a publisher based in Alabama, which plans to release the edition in February.

Alan Gribben, a professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery, approached the publisher with the idea in July. Mr. Gribben said Tuesday that he had been teaching Mark Twain for decades and always hesitated before reading aloud the common racial epithet, which is used liberally in the book, a reflection of social attitudes in the mid-19th century.

“I found myself right out of graduate school at Berkeley not wanting to pronounce that word when I was teaching either ‘Huckleberry Finn’ or ‘Tom Sawyer,’ ” he said. “And I don’t think I’m alone.”

...

Some English teachers were less than thrilled about the idea of cleaning up a classic.

“I’m not offended by anything in ‘Huck Finn,’ ” said Elizabeth Absher, an English teacher at South Mountain High School in Arizona. “I am a big fan of Mark Twain, and I hear a lot worse in the hallway in front of my class.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/books/05huck.html

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Seriously? We're going to take the word '***' out of classics now because it's unacceptable to some? The banned book crowd I guess is getting their ultimate wish, full-on censorship of things they don't like.

I can't wait to see how they are going to edit, 'The Giving Tree.' :rolleyes:


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I will admit, the word makes me cringe. But I think the integrity of the book is more important than my own personal comfort with it. If you remove the word, you are changing the context of an element of the story and the dynamic of relationships between people in it.

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I will admit, the word makes me cringe. But I think the integrity of the book is more important than my own personal comfort with it. If you remove the word, you are changing the context of an element of the story and the dynamic of relationships between people in it.

Mark Twain's work is public domain, anyone can publish it. Noone should think that this edition is the only one or that NewSouth Books is a major publisher.

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School editions did not have the n-word censored out before. It wasn't necessary last year, it isn't necessary now.

It's a private company acting in the interest of profit. Libertarians should have nothing to whinge about.

Yeah PD isn't automatic

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It's a private company acting in the interest of profit. Libertarians should have nothing to whinge about.

I think Libertarians will be up in arms over censorship as well.

I'm still waiting to read Mark Twain's autobiography. Should be a VERY interesting read.

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School editions did not have the n-word censored out before. It wasn't necessary last year, it isn't necessary now.

I don't think there is any law that guarantees the integrity of a published work when it goes public domain. If that were the case, then this wouldn't be possible. To be honest, there's nothing to stop parents buying any edition of Mark Twain's books. As I said, noone should think that this is the only one available.

However... this has been done before - with "Noddy" books for children written in the 50s. It's usually done in order to market the books to new generations of readers.

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I think Libertarians will be up in arms over censorship as well.

I'm still waiting to read Mark Twain's autobiography. Should be a VERY interesting read.

Well.. the commercial considerations (or rather the considerations of a specific client) are driving the decision to publish this edition.

Personally, I think there should be legislation that guarantees the integrity of published works, but you will always run into problems trying to practically enforce something like that - as invariably you'd have to deal with translated works by foreign authors (e.g. Alexandre Dumas). In other words, I doubt that it can easily be done.

Of course, noone seems to complain about abridged books - and that $hit has been going on for years.

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Have to agree. This is an edition for ones that hate that word and will not want to read a great book because of one word. It will still be possible to buy the unedited version. There is a company that takes every movie made and edit out any nudity and/or words said that are not what they consider family style. They do well marketing to very religious folk. It is the same here.

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