In Huck Finn (and Twain’s) defense

There seems to me that there is a truth to unaltered fiction which you can’t find elsewhere. It speaks humbly, plainly and without any pretense about its subject matter. It does not think of the future, it is not self-conscious or even pure. It is freckled and imperfect. But it is truth. And thus, I’m a supporter of unedited versions and editions.

You want to read Mark Twain? Or do you want to read the 21st Century Twain that’s been adapted to modern society?

Here’s an articulate defense for not censoring Twain’s use of the N-word in Huck Finn:

“But it’s exactly that vitriol and its unacceptable nature that Twain intended to capture in the book as it stands. Perhaps this is not a book for younger readers. Perhaps it is a book that needs careful handling by teachers at high school and even university level as they put it in its larger discursive context, explain how the irony works, and the enormous harm that racist language can do. But to tamper with the author’s words because of the sensibilities of present-day readers is unacceptable. The minute you do this, the minute this stops being the book that Twain wrote.” —


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