New PC Version of “Huckleberry Finn” Causes Protests Over Censorship
Is a classic still a classic if its been whitewashed by those that fear harsh or bad words will injure their delicate sensibilities? That's the big debate this week as news comes that publisher NewSouth Inc. has just released a new version of the Mark Twain classic Huckleberry Finn in which over 200 mentions of the "N word" have been removed (and replaced with "slave") along with the term "injuns."
"This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind," says Twain scholar and new version author Alan Gribben. "Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."
Unfortunately, this falls into one of those art vs. education debates in which you have to weigh the fact that a lot of kids aren't getting to read a great book because of the expletives in it, but at the same time, without them you lose the entire historical context of the period in which it was written.