Publishers Weekly & NewSouth Books To Censor Mark Twain

According to this news story, Publishers Weekly NewSouth Books will be censoring their upcoming edition of Mark Twain’s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by removing all instances of the N-word and replace it with “slave.” According to this search result, that would be 90 times the N-word would be replaced. Is this whitewashing history? I think so, as literature it needs to be regarded as an historical document as well and understood within the proper context. Removing what is today an offensive word removes some of the historical and literary importance of the document.

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3 Responses to Publishers Weekly & NewSouth Books To Censor Mark Twain

  1. Lorne Marr says:

    What concerns me most is that it won’t end there. I am afraid they will continue to change the words of other novels. Moreover, censoring the word may make it even more powerful. Wouldn’t it be much better to explain the word to children and show them that its usage is inappropriate today?

  2. Chris says:

    I totally agree Lorne that it offers parents and educators a “teachable” moment! Thanks for commenting! Chris

  3. As an elementary educator, I agree…. Here’s to taking advantage of real life teachable moments!

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