Mark Twain censored

There’s a new, “sanitized”, version out of Mark Wain’s “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer“, in which, among others, the word “nigger” has been replaced by “slave”, as the New York Times reports. That, to my mind, is not only political correctness gone way too far, but also a falsification of a literary work. What the editor of that new edition does not understand is that every work of literature [and art in general] is an expression of the ideas and beliefs of the time it was written and that, in the case of a literary piece of work, the exact text is really necessary to understand the work itself and the author. Any alteration simply is a falsification. There clearly is a need to explain e.g. the usage of words to modern readers [and especially young ones], but this can and must be done in footnotes.

P.S.: That also goes for editions of the Bible in which every reference to a male God has been replaced by a gender-neutral term.

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Filed under language notes, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

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