Acton and my mom sent us this article from the NY Times this morning.
"A new edition of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is missing something. Throughout the book — 219 times in all — the word “nigger” 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." -From the NY Times
What do you guys think about this controversy. It seems a little ridiculous to me. They're just going to pretend that America's never struggled with racism? Seems like part of the experience of great literature is to be able to contextualize it. Not necessarily to emulate it-- but to get a glimpse into a perspective that broadens your perceived horizons.
Twain was born into the slave State of Missouri in 1835. His uncle, who he spent a summer with at an impressionable age, famously owned twenty or so slaves. It seems like it's hard to discuss Huck Finn without having that conversation. Then again, it is a horrible word. And maybe it's better if young school children, to whom the book is often taught, are excused from the debate at such an early age. I read Huckleberry Finn in tenth grade; but our father had been reading us Twain long before (censoring the word on his own).
What are your thoughts?