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Offline sammy

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Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:11:58 AM »
Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn

A new edition of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is causing controversy because of the removal of a racially offensive word.
Twain scholar Alan Gribben says the use of the word "nigger" had prompted many US schools to stop teaching the classic.
In his edition, Professor Gribben replaces the word with "slave" and also changes "injun" to "Indian".
But the publisher says hundreds of people have complained about the edits.
First published in 1884, Huckleberry Finn is considered one of the great American novels.
While telling the story of a boy's journey down the Mississippi River some time between 1835 and 1845, the novel satirises Southern attitudes on race and slavery.

History of controversy

"The book is an anti-racist book and to change the language changes the power of the book," said Cindy Lovell, executive director of The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.
"He wrote to make us squirm and to poke us with a sharp stick. That was the purpose," she told Reuters news agency.
The novel has often been criticised for its language and characterisations and it is reported to be the fourth most banned book in US schools.
The "N-word" appears 219 times in the story.
Professor Gribben, who teaches English at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama, said he had given many public readings of Twain's books - and that when he replaced the word with "slave", audiences were more comfortable.
He said he wanted more people, especially younger people, to be encouraged to read the novel.
"It's such a shame that one word should be a barrier between a marvellous reading experience and a lot of readers," he said.
But the idea has been condemned by other scholars, teachers, writers and rights activists.
"Trying to erase the word from our culture is profoundly, profoundly wrong," said Randall Kennedy, a Harvard Law School professor.
Dr Sarah Churchwell, a lecturer on American literature, told the BBC that it made a mockery of the story.
"It's about a boy growing up a racist in a racist society who learns to reject that racism, and it makes no sense if the book isn't racist," she told BBC World Service's Newshour programme. "You can't make the history of racism in America go away."

Power of words

Twain himself was very particular about his words.
He is quoted as saying that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter".
And when a printer made punctuation changes to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Twain wrote later that he had "given orders for the typesetter to be shot without giving him time to pray".
The publisher of this new edition of Huckleberry Finn, New South Books, says dozens of people have telephoned to complain and hundreds have sent e-mails.
The press have also weighed in to the debate, generally in defence of the original version.
"What makes Huckleberry Finn so important in American literature isn't just the story, it's the richness, the detail, the unprecedented accuracy of its spoken language," the New York Times said in an editorial. "There is no way to 'clean up' Twain without doing irreparable harm to the truth of his work."
In the UK, an editorial in The Times called the new edition "a well-intentioned act of cultural vandalism and obscurantism that constricts rather than expands the life of the mind".
The sanitised version will be published on 15 February, in a joint reissue with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which also has the offensive epithets replaced.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12126700?print=true
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Offline elan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 12:15:03 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.
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Offline ribbit

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 12:25:04 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics?  ::) 

Offline Touches

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 12:26:06 PM »
I find this real interesting...

Cause while I understand the profs rationale, he is infact re writing the novel and the history and the authors work.

Suppose other people start to do that to contemporary author's work, then what?

I find he have no right tinkering with Twain ting. It was written as a reflection of the time period.


But these things have been done before...

Children these days and some teens don't know what is a Golliwogg.



This was a Character in a Enid Blighton book and I used to have a collection of books with the character "NODDY"...Golliwog was his brethren and then later on more Golliwog characters were added to the stories some good and some bad.

When I was small I didn't know bout these things and to me he was just another fella in the book.





The Golliwog get eradicated, that removed from all literature and existence. While it was a offensive thing, history must be preserved so people could be educated and know.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 12:29:53 PM by Touches »


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Offline pecan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 12:50:11 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.
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Offline FF

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 12:50:33 PM »
Golliwog was Noddy brethren?  :rotfl:

I never hear it describe so... ha ha ha ha

but yeah i never consider the golliwog offensive... never realise they wipe that out
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Offline Touches

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 01:03:05 PM »
FF

Click the wikipedia hyperlink I put in the post...they ent have dem ting again.

Last time yuh hear bout Golliwog in TT was when they used to call Thursday night in club coconut nuts, Golli night...as well as Coconut Oil or Dhal Sat and White Wed.


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Offline Dutty

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 01:28:39 PM »
Golliwog was Noddy brethren?  :rotfl:

I never hear it describe so... ha ha ha ha

but yeah i never consider the golliwog offensive... never realise they wipe that out

..when yuh small yuh so innocent yuh does never realize when yuh mind gettin poison

ah sure yuh see some ah dem ole ole mickey mouse and bugs bunny cartoon was on a real offensive racial vibes long ago...but lil chirren did never study dat

is funny ah was watchin ah james bond movie de odder day and kojak was de bad man in it

One scene was ah setta fine young women from different ethnic backgrounds sit around the table eating a formal dinner,..everybody eatin they native food on fine dining china and utensils
Yuh know dey gih de black gyirl ah banana to eat!!.....i shake mih head and had to laugh
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 01:41:29 PM »
I doh have any issue with the censorship... it's on a limited scale and only for his students.  It not easy when you's de only black person in de room reading something from a book and de N-word buss out.  Yuh does immediately feel like everybody watching you for a reaction.  Forget about everybody else fuh ah minute... it makes me feel uncomfortable hearing it mihself.

The "rap music" argument is a non-starter... rap music generally isn't played in a formal setting where blacks and non-blacks HAVE to mix, let alone in an academic setting.  All that aside, yes... I does still feel funny when "nigga" dis and "nigga" dat is being played within earshot of non-blacks when I around, so it makes no difference to me.

Offline Bitter

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 02:01:16 PM »
Censor Mark Twain?

Nigga Please!
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Offline ribbit

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 02:07:46 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.

ha ha - dey should give rap away for free.


The "rap music" argument is a non-starter... rap music generally isn't played in a formal setting where blacks and non-blacks HAVE to mix, let alone in an academic setting.

check dis fella - michael eric dyson. he does treat rap verses like is scripture he reciting.

Offline Dutty

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 02:32:51 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.

ha ha - dey should give rap away for free.


supernatural does rap for free...he is the 10% pecan go breakdance to

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Offline Observer

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011, 07:12:39 PM »
Why not read the book as it was written and then educate the youth on the era historically, the mentality and outcomes. This is what education is about.
What next! We are trying to sanitize the world & becoming way too politically correct.
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2011, 07:17:29 PM »
Why not read the book as it was written and then educate the youth on the era historically, the mentality and outcomes. This is what education is about.
What next! We are trying to sanitize the world & becoming way too politically correct.

You can still have that discussion and education without the gratuitous use of the N-word. Not that I'm adamantly against the use of the word, but I can see both sides to the argument and political correctness ent have nutten to do with it in my mind.

Offline Observer

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 08:22:19 AM »
Why not read the book as it was written and then educate the youth on the era historically, the mentality and outcomes. This is what education is about.
What next! We are trying to sanitize the world & becoming way too politically correct.

You can still have that discussion and education without the gratuitous use of the N-word. Not that I'm adamantly against the use of the word, but I can see both sides to the argument and political correctness ent have nutten to do with it in my mind.


Bakes my point is that is how the book and story was written. You cannot go around simply sanitizing everything, especially in my view, historical content.
What next we are not going to show (eliminate) the images of slavery, holocaust, Pol Pot massacres. The manner in which our children are presently exposed to the "N" word, disturbs me.  Far too many have fought, died and continue to fight to have such a mentality eliminated. What are we now to do with historical novels about the war in the Pacific or Vietnam and the derogatory names used for the Japanese or Vietcong
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 08:35:40 AM »
Bakes my point is that is how the book and story was written. You cannot go around simply sanitizing everything, especially in my view, historical content.

What next we are not going to show (eliminate) the images of slavery, holocaust, Pol Pot massacres. The manner in which our children are presently exposed to the "N" word, disturbs me.  Far too many have fought, died and continue to fight to have such a mentality eliminated. What are we now to do with historical novels about the war in the Pacific or Vietnam and the derogatory names used for the Japanese or Vietcong

I hear you on what yuh saying, even if I still disagree... this bolded part however is a gross distortion of the issue.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is work of fiction, even if inspired by real events.  I am yet to hear a convincing argument as to how the N-word advances the discussion.  Citing extreme examples of the perils of censorship is similarly unproductive, images of slavery or the holocaust isn't at issue here.

Offline Socafan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 07:46:37 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.

Really? Why?? And who is the "they" that should do this?
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Offline pecan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 07:54:59 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.

Really? Why?? And who is the "they" that should do this?

is a joke man ... chill ..   i personally find about 90% of the genre (but I am dating myself) un-listenable hence the comment to ban it - the remaining 10% includes Sugarhill Band, Kurtis Blow and the like  ;D

but explaining my comment loses its impact.
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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 08:00:59 PM »
I heard the publisher discuss her views with a 4-person panel - who all disagreed with her.  I can see her side; her intent is not to be politically correct, rather it is an attempt to provide an alternate version to reach a wider audience.

I think the whole issue is being blown out of proportion. The original work is still available for all to read and I find it highly unlikely that the revised version will creep and overshadow the original.

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Offline Socafan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 08:22:04 PM »
The whole N-word argument is really funny to me these days, because in my neck of the woods, suburban Kendall, Miami, it's the WHITE youth, more than the black youth around the place that I hear talking about nigga this and  nigga that, and they are referring to themselves!

I'm not sure why black people still get so upset when white people ress that on them, because white people  have some much more offensive things they like to vocalize, but I feel is the older crowd. The younger set, black and white, infact all races, in USA mind you, are all niggas, male and even female. This from my viewpoint anyway.

The word seems to have a few different connotations nowadays, depending on spelling, voice tone and context. One man say ban rap. I credit rap music with tremendously helping to dilute the offensiveness of the word. It's an everyday word now amongst friends, black and non-black, and between them. "WHAT'S UP MY NIGGA!" is standard greeting with them these days, and infact seems to be an affectionate bonding word/term, much like... no..more than.. "brotha".

So the whole banning the word from the book is at best too late and is meddling with the flavour of the book. Maybe in an earlier period it may have meant something, but now, I'm not sure what they hope to achieve. Most of the youth, and it is they who will read the book, will understand the context and will probably empathize with the plight of black people back then anyway. Then will go outside class and hail up their brethren with "what's up my nigga"
Seems like a case of white guilt.

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Offline Socafan

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 08:28:13 PM »
This is one of the most stupid I idea I ever read about.

for real. what next? dey go apply this to rap lyrics::) 

as far as I concern, they should ban about 90% of the rap music genre.

Really? Why?? And who is the "they" that should do this?

is a joke man ... chill ..   i personally find about 90% of the genre (but I am dating myself) un-listenable hence the comment to ban it - the remaining 10% includes Sugarhill Band, Kurtis Blow and the like  ;D

but explaining my comment loses its impact.

Actually....I'm not advocating for rap, just against official censorship. Doh really listen to it much, because I find much of it to be foolishness, like plenty dancehall, heavy metal, PLENTY SOCA THESE DAYS, and a couple other genres.

But yeah.....dem people yuh call dey...Sugarhill gang etc........ :beermug:
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Offline Bakes

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Re: Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 09:57:47 PM »
A lot of people weighing in on the issue are missing a critical context... this version was authored by a professor for his class, this is not intended for mass production.  The professor thinks that this edition will make it easier to teach the novel to his university class.  This is why I began the discussion with the classroom context.  Now of course this doesn't mean that we can't discuss the issue in a wider context, but if we are to criticize proponents of the move, it may be helpful to couch that criticism in the proper context.