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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is it really about Huckleberry Finn?

Huckleberry Finn is a literary masterpiece that we all read as children; I wouldn't want a word changed. You don't change history; you accept the era, morals, and people of that time….And you post that story at your own peril in Victoria,unless your goal is  to liven up the forum.
I'm not surprised that some posters in the forum are using this issue to support generational racism because the book is not about Chris Rock or the hip- hop generation using the N- word in their daily vocabulary. Parkpork, waywardwind and top sarge are not the people I would choose to explain the reason we should leave Huckleberry Finn, as is because they took it to a level that has nothing to do with the novel.

Parkpork seems to think that we shouldn't walk on eggshells or no one should be offended if the N- word is used in their presence because compared to words we accept; it should be totally acceptable. If you don't believe that you're one of the stupidest creatures on earth. Others chimed in with other racial slurs that are taken for granted but think we take extra precaution to avoid using the N-word. Didn't parkpork tell Bigj that Mexican Americans didn't contribute anything to the advancement of the United States? As expected, waywardwind praised the writing of parkpork and said “I sincerely hope the censors at the advocate did not delete your thoughtful accurate and humorous post. You have said what, I believe, most of us think, and said it in a way that should make anyone understand how ridiculous it is to change Twain's work." The post wasn't accurate because it was just what parkpork assumed to be accurate, it could be described as thoughtful but I fail to see any humor in the post. The poster that goes by the name of waywardwind once stated that we should have our military placed on the southern border to shoot anything that moves northward. He later rescinded because he thought some wildlife might be caught in the crossfire. I did not read the ramblings of topsarge but I suspect he took it up a notch. All the others will come out of the wood work....Bottom line ,some posters don’t have any credibility when it comes to the issue of race.

A black college professor named David Bradley, told 60 Minutes it's not an honor to replace the N- word with the word slave. In fact slave might be worse. We can make it all about political- correctness and blame that, or we can accept Huckleberry Finn in the original form, and feel proud that we have evolved from that. I don't think that we should use the article to try to justify generational racism or condemn those that use the N-word daily amongst friends or to sell music. That's another subject altogether.

I'm glad I have this blog to post my opinions without having to chastise others for their remarks. I still believe there are two sides to every subject and the first two posters in the thread proved that, by presenting a good case for" Huckleberry Finn" to remain untouched.


Edith Ann said...

I think it is wrong to edit Twain to make his words more politically acceptable. Twain's works are not contemporary, they are period pieces, and whether we like it or not, that was the language of the time.

Twenty-five years ago, my sister gave my little boys a beautifully illustrated copy of "Little Black Sambo", and it was soon one of their favorite books to be read. They were far less concerned about the color of the little boy--actually, I don't think they ever commented on it--than they were about all the clothes he had to surrender to the tigers.

Fast forward to now. I tried to find a copy of LBS for my grandson, and all that is available are the old, not so nicely illustrated copies, so I passed. What I settled on instead was a copy of "Little Babaji", the edited version of LBS. While it is a beautifully illustrated edition, and my grandson enjoys hearing about the tigers, there is a small part of me that wishes I still had that copy my boys enjoyed. The only things that were changed were the names of the characters.

Like so many things, context is everything, and in the context of a classic piece of literature, there is no need to edit Twain. If we are going to edit the classics to make them more palatable, then for Pete's sake, let's start with Shakespeare! There's a guy that could use an editor! Talk about using twenty words when ten will do!

Mike said...

Edith Ann

 I really enjoyed your post and as of yet I have not seen where anyone wants to use the revised version...I think we are all in agreement if everyone stays on topic.

Rebecca said...

I loved Little Black Sambo!

Mike said...

Be grateful for your memories because at this stage I only remember the titles.

Rebecca said...

I re-read the story through Project Gutenberg

I wish it had access to a version of the illustrations that I remember. The book that my grandmother read to me had more cartoon-ish illustrations. Did she not have the original? They were like this:

Now I see the value of antique stores: find your old memories. =D

Mike said...

Lol..Available on line via iPad...Good point