“Editing” Mark Twain

You can’t escape your past, but you can study it, learn from it, and eventually find peace and acceptance.

Or you can ignore it, push it away, and not learn a damn thing.

Here are a few crimes against humanity:

  • Germany invaded it’s neighbors, enslaved populations based on race, and systematically committed genocide
  • Japan invaded it’s neighbors, raped, and killed in a volume that is unfathomable
  • Russia is guilty of annihilating large portions of it’s own population
  • The United States and England firebombed a city for no strategic gain

All of these acts were committed during World War II. Four bullet-points that represent the brutal deaths of millions of people.

Humanity has done and continues to do all manner of monstrous up things to one another. We can’t change that they happened, but maybe if we learned from these inhumane acts, we can stop committing them.

We owe it to the victims of these acts to remember their suffering the way that it actually happened, not some classy, kid-friendly Disney version of suffering.

When we remove “nigger” from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, to make it more friendly, classy, and politically correct, we are killing the memory of life under Jim Crow. Twain’s language in Huck Finn was deliberately harsh and indicative of the times. Twain knew exactly what he was writing in Huck Finn, and his points are clear unless you are a shallow and vapid.

Huck Finn is a hard book to read precisely because it paints a realistic picture of humans causing misery. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and Elie Wiesel’s Night are just as painful to read because of their honesty. When you don’t have to look real human suffering in the eye every day, it’s shocking when you have a casual encounter with it.

Implications

Huck Finn is one of the novels that has been in the crosshairs of book burning scum for about a century. I always believed it would stand the test of time because it was written by Mark Twain, one of history’s great novelists. If we’re censoring Twain is any novel safe from the grease pencils of America’s easily offended helicopter parents?

It is a sad day.

(Via CNN: New edition of ‘Huckleberry Finn’ to lose the ‘n’ word)

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3 thoughts on ““Editing” Mark Twain

  1. The word ‘nigger’ was written in Huck Finn not as a racial slur. Can’t they see that simple fact!?
    Lovers of Posterity should make sure that they have an unedited copy of Huck Finn.

    Btw, I think your last sentence needs editing D. After you edit that, I will reblog this great piece.

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