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Huckleberry Finn reworded to replace the N-word

nikskenikske Posts: 556Registered Users
Scholar Alan Gribben has put together a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that replaces the word "n-i-g-g-e-r" with the supposedly less "demeaning" term "slave".

What the F***?

What is this supposed to do? Make us believe that the N-word never existed? Clean up history?

What do you think about this?
Wurly 2b/2c/3a Miii - high porosity


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Sodomy non sapiens.

- Terry Pratchett


  • KookyCurlKookyCurl Posts: 1,980Registered Users
    While I understand his intent, which was to make people more comfortable with the text and therefore hopefully increase readership and exposure it the book, I do not agree with it.

    He not only replaced the n-word, he replaced Injun as well.

    Huck Finn is a tale that should not be divorced from it's historical place. Yes, it is a tale that transcends that but to change these words just for people's comfort levels sends a message that language isn't important. Yet Twain was meticulous about word choices. Also, while it may work in this instance, slave and n are not synonymous in all instances.

    Language is terribly important and Huck Finn affords teachers and chance to highlight this in both English and History classrooms. It was very much part of the vernacular at the time and as such should be used as written. If students are not exposed to these words as they were used, they won't grasp why they are not acceptable for use today.

    That being said, it is one translation, and one that has been done before. It is not replacing it in all or even a majority of the editions.
  • kristie911kristie911 Posts: 154Registered Users
    What's next? They'll change Jingle Bells so we won't sing about gay apparel anymore? Come on...
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  • LadyV69LadyV69 Posts: 3,397Registered Users
    I've gotten into debates with a friend over this. She supports the change. While I am no fan of the "n" word, deleting it from Huck Finn strikes me as a PC attempt to whitewash history, which I can't support.
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  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I feel the gravity pull of Mark Twain spinning. What's to stop reference to slaves being removed from historical stuff because someone doesn't like it? This is historycide.
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  • MadHatter89MadHatter89 Posts: 18Registered Users
    Haha, what? That's not really a good idea I think. The fiction writers and artists are the best insight to history. We're so often told untruths and watered down history by history textbooks. We can't silence the artists. They wrote how stuff of the time really happened. What about when people find the word "slave" offensive? Will it need to be changed again? Of course all the while changing the realness of the time to suit our palates - or what that guy who changed it thinks will suit our palate.

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