Monday, January 03, 2011

Welcome To Soviet America: Alan Gribben To Republish The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer And Huck Finn Solely To Eliminate The N-Word

One of the characteristics of the old Soviet Union was that whenever a new General Secretary, or Premier, took power, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was immediately edited and re-published to minimize or denigrate the accomplishments of his predecessors. The most noteworthy example was when Nikita Khrushchev took power, and the Encyclopedia was edited to tell more of the truth about Joseph Stalin. So history was reinvented and re-written to satisfy the proclivities of the new regime.

Welcome to Soviet America; it's happening here, albeit with some of our classical literature. From Free Republic I learned that Publisher's Weekly reports that leading Mark Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the "N-word" (as well as the "in" word, "Injun") by replacing it with the word "slave." The "N-word" reportedly appears 219 times in Huck Finn alone. The replacement, which will combine Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn into a single book entitled "Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition", is expected to be on shelves by February, with a hardcover price of $24.95.

"This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind," said Gribben, speaking from his office at Auburn University at Montgomery, where he's spent most of the past 20 years heading the English department. "Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."

Apparently concerning Gribben is the fact that Huck Finn has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: "Nigger", even though you can still say "Nigga" in popular culture. Many teachers have told Gribben that they would love to use the books in their classrooms, but feel they can't do it anymore, because in the new classroom, it's considered unacceptable.

Of course, school safety might be a possible issue here. Since many blacks, particularly those who live in the inner cities, have become so over-sensitized to race and so inflated with a false sense of entitlement, they over-react to real or perceived slights. Thus I can envision an inner-city classroom full of black students possibly erupting if the original Huck Finn were to be given to them by a teacher who doesn't know how to effectively control a classroom.

But still, in a sense, this guy is literally re-writing history, even if it is merely literary history. Two comments posted to the Publisher's Weekly story effectively sum up the opposition:

by: @ 20110103141950:
What these arrogant, narrow-minded fools are doing is disgusting. White-washing history to ignore the bad bits doesn't help anyone to learn from the past. Rather than taking the opportunity to use the text as a discussion on history, race, identity and social mores, this group of self-entitled PC tyrants are trying to erase classic literature. Part of what made Mark Twain so amazing was that he exposed the hypocrisy of the times; i.e., calling someone a friend, yet using a derisive term for that person. What's next to be whitewashed? Remove the curse words from Catcher in the Rye? How about erasing the sex from DH Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway or Henry Miller? How about removing the drug use in Jack Kerouac or Hunter S Thompson? How about removing the gay from Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Waugh or James Baldwin? Life isn't all PC, white and middle class. In fact, much of it is quite the opposite. Changing literature to reflect current attitudes of a specific group has only one name, that is and should be reviled by anyone who calls themselves a book-lover: it is CENSORSHIP.

by: TheLiteraryWord @ 20110103164659:
I find this truly offensive. The justification of editing the book in order to make it more appropriate for the here and now is just, simply put, a crock. I began reading long before my schooling started and I have maintained a strong passion for all things literary ever since. Thankfully my mother raised me to read freely, books of any nature and on any subject and I believe this literary freedom is mostly responsible for the open-minded, tolerant, and free-thinking adult that I have become. Reading is something that enriches our lives, not hinders it and the historical issues that are contained in books such as this one are truly important. As someone has stated, life is not politically correct and okay, so as a white person it could be argued that I don't understand how offensive such terminology can be but I see this issue from all sides. Were I a person of colour, I would STILL be outraged at this. People of different races have all had their struggles and heaven knows that the struggle to defeat slavery and to obtain equal rights was one hell of a battle. I would find it truly offensive that anyone could choose to downplay the horrors and problems that my ancestors had to deal with. Leave history alone! It doesn't make it any less offensive by doing this to a work of fiction rather than a history book, rather, it makes it worse. The works of fiction are usually where our children begin to learn about the harsh realities of the world but in a safe and informative way. This act is truly abominable.

One commenter to the Entertainment Weekly story expressed this interesting thought:

joblo Mon 01/03/11 5:33 PM:
Hey, maybe we should re-edit Schindler’s List and remove all of the disgusting things that the Nazis do. After all, it’s OFFENSIVE, and we need to be careful about “how you express that in the 21st Century.” This is the height of stupid. Whitewashing the language of an era does nothing positive and makes it impossible to learn from that time.


  1. you mean nigger,nigger,nigger,nigger,nigger,nigger,nigger,nigger?

  2. Why would a inner-city "teacher"give stupid niggers Huck Finn to read???Stone-age primates could give a rats ass about a White man's book. GIVE ME A BREAK..Just give them some bananas and peanuts.Can't teach penquins how to fly.

  3. Rectum rammingis the major reason AIDS spreads. Woe be to the female who is married to such a man. Did you know that all bodily fluids, if infected, contain the virus? It makes sense doesn't it? The next time one of your fag friends sneezes in your face, you might have reason to wonder if the "experts" are right -- you can't catch it "casually". Spics are rapidly closing the gap between them and the chocolate drops when it comes to AIDS infection. You might think about that the next time Juan Gomez is seen at Mac Donald's preparing your hamburger. Blacks and muds are heavy into the sodomy game. Race-mixing anyone?
    AIDS infection is again on rapid rise. Each year, another 15 percent of the black population is added to the list. As our insane population does everything it can to lengthen the life of these Typhoid Marys, it also means that the infected have greater opportunity to infect others. But that's what diversity and equality is all about anyway. It's also good for the economy -- build a new clinic and hire new people. Soon, there will be some sort of "health" establishment on every corner.

  4. By now, most have observed that TV commercials are almost completely accompanied by nigger thump and holler. Now, another distinct trend is observable: the change from rap/rock/hip hop noise to true African bum-bum-bum Zulu chant.

  5. We are presently very frustrated. We know the solution we would like to evoke but all legal avenues are closed. It's as though we realize that termites are destroying our house but the law makes it illegal to crush them and to even carry about a can of RAID. We -- the disgruntled and dispossessed -- are required to be tolerant of the fellow who destroys our garden but he is allowed to be intolerant of anyone who stands in the way of his tantrums. The cards are stacked and, day by day, others join the ranks of the aware -- our ranks.

  6. In its insane quest to find "Black genius," the experts have been digging up all sorts of varieties of octoroons (1/8 Black, 7/8 White), quadroons (1/4 Black, 3/4 White) and mulattos (1/2 Black, 1/2 White), in order to demonstrate "equality." This de facto admission is right up my alley since it recognizes that someone with at least 12 percent Black blood is not a White man. I won't argue with them at all. In addition, doesn't this admit of a possibility that these recently discovered geniuses might owe their meager achievements to the White component? You'll never discover the properties of any metal by examining their alloys. How about discovering a genuine jet-black, honest-to-goodness Negro genius for a change? And would it not benefit the Negro to have his own schools, his own society, and in his own territory? The race-mixers do not have the welfare of any race in their twisted minds.

  7. The ZOG Zoo is still open 24-7-365. The circus goes -- niggers kill white farmers (Zim bubble wee). Niggers now ain't gots no vittles. Niggers now hungry. USZOG nows sends food to niggers so they can kill mo' honkies and keep on humping to produce more starving nignogs who need additional food. Anyone see what's wrong here? It's tossing gasoline onto a fire to put it out.

  8. Speaking of carrying water in a sieve -- In one WNY city, the nignoglettes who dun flunked da 8th grade math exam had to go to summer school. (Keep in mind that present-day 8th grade math used to be called 6th grade arithmetic.) Now dat summer school dun gone, dez bin gibben a nu exam. Since I know one administrator who likes me (the woman has poor taste in studs), she let me peek at the results of one group of 223 students. The highest score was 42 -- a MF genius! Most scores were clustered around the 12 -17 points region. My wager -- NONE of these intellectually challenged cotton-pickers will ever REPEAT the failed grade as outlined in last years big noise about 'raising standards'. Standards REQUIRE discrimination, wouldn't you say?

  9. Communism is dead. Cancer is cured. Madonna is a virgin. Debt is wealth. Diversity is strength. Up is down.

  10. Nine comments, eight of them blatantly racist, from cowardly Anonymoi. Is that a clue to the character of Alaskans in general?