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Old 01-05-2011, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,042 posts, read 46,702,273 times
Reputation: 20515

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As a librarian, I just wanted to say that I do NOT support censoring Mark Twain's literature... and the official stance of the American Library Association (ALA) is the same, as they don't support censorship in any form. We understand some words are offensive, but the book was written in a different era - and the "n-word" in this context has a certain literary impact, which is completely altered by changing the word. Not to mention, reading the story might encourage open discourse about race issues & modern vs older attitudes. I promise you, the librarians will NOT be happy with the new edition, and I'm sure we'll fight to keep the originals in circulation.

FWIW, I completely cringe at any offensive/racist words, but also understand their place in certain contexts. If a book were to use these words gratuitously, I'd pass on ordering it for my library... but in the case of Mark Twain's work, it has value beyond how we view things today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
I find it interesting that when my dd was in 5th grade in the public schools, the library was filled with books which she was strongly encouraged to read that had words like, "FU*K," "G*D DA*N," & "BLO* J*B" and no one (other than me!) batted an eyelash. But, people can get fired over using a word that just sounds similar to a PC Incorrect word.
As I said above, the ALA does not support censorship, as what you find offensive might be valuable to another. School libraries are more stringently controlled, and the ultimate ordering decisions are up to the board & librarian... but yes, a LOT of young adult (and tween) literature has "bad words" your daughter might come across. You have the right to control what your children read, so I suggest either reading the books yourself first, or checking reviews to determine the content. We can't remove every book that offends one person, or the shelves would eventually be completely bare.

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1730
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Texas
44,266 posts, read 55,855,286 times
Reputation: 73393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
I agree 100% with Moosketeer.

This bowdlerizer goes even further: In addition to replacing the N-word, Gribben changes the villain in "Tom Sawyer" from "***** Joe" to "Indian Joe" and "half-breed" becomes "half-blood."

Ironic how the publisher's name is New South!!!!!

Hey boys and girls---- let's revise history-----
Oh...I heard it was being changed to 'Muggle.'
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,765,134 times
Reputation: 1619
what is next...burning the books like farenheit 451? who would think that political correctness would go this far in reverse. this is where obama should open his mouth and offer a comment. Using the N word isn't right, but it is accurately portrayed in the book and it is what it is.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:53 PM
 
32,525 posts, read 32,326,869 times
Reputation: 32410
This is so idiotic I do not know where to begin. I'm assuming "Gone With the Wind" is next.

It's because of small minds like this and their PC gone crazy that I cannot see Disney's "Song of the South".
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,278 posts, read 13,773,922 times
Reputation: 34033
This man hit the nail on the head! And he's a black man!

Rewriting Huckleberry Finn is ridiculous! - CNN iReport
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,974 posts, read 7,003,796 times
Reputation: 8573
Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes is also having its title changed for publication in the US, Australia and New Zealand. It will be called Someone Knows My Name.

Why I'm not allowed my book title | Books | guardian.co.uk
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:52 AM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,293,311 times
Reputation: 37885
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgresident View Post
what is next...burning the books like farenheit 451? who would think that political correctness would go this far in reverse. ....
Between the Christian Taliban on the one side and the Political Correctniks on the other, we will be lucky if our grocery lists aren't censored!
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:22 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
14,552 posts, read 20,284,267 times
Reputation: 26234
Well let us all just pack our bags and head on over to a communist country , is that not what they do with books with offensive words ? Give me a break ppl think of the time period when this book was written .Im sorry nope that is just wrong and remember Hitler also burned books . Do you want our country to do the same thing as Hitler did ? where does it stop .
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
11,680 posts, read 18,508,634 times
Reputation: 30219
I'm horrified, both at the idiots that wanted to take this classic off school curriculums in the first place, and at this removal of impact and meaning from Twain's work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Words are very potent because of their social context . To remove the "N" word in the context of the world Mark Twain lived in and considering he was a staunch advocate of the abolition of slavery is to water down not only his wonderful writings but most importantly its social message. It is intellectually counter-intuitive as well as an act of literary vandalism.

Social sensitivity is important but this is simply PC gone mad IMO.
Moosie pretty much said what I think, but better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
I almost fell out of my chair when I read that!! The offensive "N" word is in about every gang banger rap song out there yet they want to rewrite a classic so as to not offend

Why stop there?? I'm sure there are plenty of books out there that use not so nice terms to describe the Irish, Italian,Polish, Jews etc etc.
We'd better cancel all performances and readings of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, for one, as it is very anti-semitic.

If we're going to try to (forgive the pun please) whitewash history, how can we expect anyone to learn from it?
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:12 AM
 
25,627 posts, read 32,119,967 times
Reputation: 23149
Lets not offend people sensibilities.

What a bunch of crap. This is nothing new. Same problem when I went to school back in the 70's and 80's. Hell I even listened to *****z Wit Attitudes back in the day.

Oh my gosh he said *****z Martha run for the hills.

LOL at the censorship^^^
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