Mine is HANDSOME RANTS w/o middle name.
SO SLIM NEANDERTHALS w/ middle name.
Talk about The Language Police. I’m absolutely disgusted that a publisher would have the audacity to edit an author’s text so long after the fact. I might understand this argument if it were happening 127 years ago when in its first drafts. Now, it just looks foolish.
Twain meant for this text to be a critique of southern society and slavery in particular. Why one would feel it appropriate to take “nigger” and “Injun” out of this equation baffles me. Is it pleasant? No, but neither was slavery or the extermination of native peoples in this country. Is it how we would like to remember the nation’s past? Again, no, but it is the truth. I liken removing the word “nigger” from this text to removing the fact that slaves existed at all.
What bothers me most about this is that it glaringly highlights the fact that as a collective, the US has yet to come to grips with its past. In particular, we haven’t accepted how the past has impacted our present. Taking “nigger” out of this book isn’t going to change the fact that the word was used and still is in a derogatory, demeaning way. Further, the argument that this “preemptive censorship” will keep the text safe from banned lists is a farce. The 219 instances of “nigger” in the book aren’t what make people want to keep this off of curriculum lists - it’s the content itself. The book forces (or should) people to ask some tough questions about US society and the roles people played within it. This isn’t a book that glosses over all the bad stuff and gives you a happy ending — we all know there wasn’t one.