Next month, NewSouth Books is publishing a version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that combines it with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that's hardly the new book's most controversial choice. Twain scholar Alan Gribben spearheaded the project primarily to remove Huck Finn's epithets for African-Americans and Native-Americans (they've either been omitted or, in the former case, replaced by words like "slave"), -sourceThis is ridiculous. The book, with the N word included, is how Mark Twain wrote it. Its an American classic from a literary icon. I do not understand how a purported Twain scholar goes mucking about with something like that. All to spare the sensitivities of a few teachers who don't have the instructional cahones to teach an American classic as written and deal with the context? How does dumbing down a literary classic smarten up the youth of America?
I read the book as a kid, on my own. I enjoyed the story and I understood the context. Even if Twain had written the book to intentionally denigrate blacks (which he did not) I would not support changing it. What he wrote is what he wrote. Its completely asinine. Real literature is not like rap music on radio, where you bleep the offensive bits and slap it with an "explicit lyrics" advisory in the store. This is the kind of moronic, fake "sensitivity" that makes my skin crawl.
And of course, one act of idiocy begets another.