How Dare We?

Mr. Twain and historians should protest

What do we value? Is it our culture? Is it our artists and writers? Are we afraid to recognize and deal with our own culture’s past? Do we value honesty and truthfulness?

And yet a cultural leader, such as an English college professor, changes history, and even worse, alters the long-standing word of another person.

How dare we change the words of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

I should perhaps read more in to this before fuming, but it wouldn’t make a difference. The bottom line is the same and is absolutely despicable. How dare we change the words written by one of America’s most prominent, most read, iconic authors? I’m dumbfounded and angry.

According to an article in USA Today (the first one that came up when I googled this issue) states:

Many Twain scholars can’t stand it. But Alan Gribben, professor of English at Auburn University-Montgomery, says his new edition is not for them. It’s for readers who cannot get past the slur to take in the rest of the book — and thereby understand Twain’s opposition to racism.

Well, Mr. Gribben, while your goal may be lofty and honorable, it is not your right to change the words of Twain. While the word nigger is hateful and despicable, it is a word nonetheless, and it is a word with a prominent, even if ugly, place in our society’s cultural history.

Shame on you professor Gribben.


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