Jan 5, 2011
The question of whether Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn should be censored first came up a year after it was published, and the pressure on the often politically incorrect (then and now) book hasn’t stopped in the 125 years since, earning it fourth place on a list of the US’s most banned books.
Now a Twain scholar from Auburn University in Alabama believes he has found a way to teach Huck Finn without all the controversy about race and language: Alan Gribben is editing a new version of the classic novel that will remove all 219 instances of the “n-word,” replacing it with the word “slave.” The book will also replace the word “Injun.”
Literary purists and opponents of censorship are crying foul, accusing Gribben of Bowdlerizing a literary classic. But supporters of the project say it’s a way to ensure that Twain’s classic continues to be taught in schools despite objections about its use of politically incorrect language.
“I’m hoping that people will welcome this new option, but I suspect that textual purists will be horrified,” Gribben admitted in an interview with Publishers Weekly. “Already, one professor told me that he is very disappointed that I was involved in this.”
Full article here