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Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition Paperback – February 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 4:39 Mins|
In regards to censoring a Mark Twain classic
January 5, 2010
Dear Randall Williams and Suzanne La Rosa, co-owners of NewSouth Books;
Censorship in any form, however benign in appearance, however easier on the ears and eyes, however sincere in intention - violates the natural endowment of free expression. Your publication of Mark Twain's classic in censored form will send the wrong signals to the publishing industry, the wrong message to young readers in public schools. Enlightened minds are not nourished by Orwellian safeguards.
On your website you state: "A new edition of Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, forthcoming from NewSouth Books in mid-February, does more than unite the companion boy books in one volume, as the author had intended."
Let's examine the last part of your proclamation - "as the author had intended." As a Mark Twain enthusiast, I highly doubt he would have intended for you to take it upon yourselves to censor his work. True, he had intended to publish the two stories in one volume. But this doesn't grant you the moral authority to step in and replace 'the N-word' with 'slave' (including their plural companions). In effect, you're claiming he would have intended for you to sanitize racial slurs on behalf of two ethnic groups so that you could publish his two stories in one volume.
Secondly, making use of Twain scholar, Dr. Alan Gribben, and his "preemptive censorship" doctrine doesn't excuse yourselves from the fact that you and your publishing company have now embarked on your own rafting adventure down the Mighty Mississippi of Censorship. According to Dr.Read more ›
I have no problem with a teacher who wants to introduce younger students to a classic work, and chooses to skip age-inappropriate passages. I also have no problem with a commercial publisher who modifies a public domain work to suit such a purpose -- provided they clearly brand the product as an ADAPTATION of an author's original. Gribben and NewSouth did not do that. They are marketing this edition as the work of Mark Twain (note how they chose to title this beginning with the author's name), and it simply is not. What's at stake here is the integrity of our literary heritage when any yahoo can grab a classic text off Project Gutenberg, do a find-and-replace, and sell that without disclosure -- introducing alternate versions to the public, undermining the authenticity of the original. This is exactly what Gribben and NewSouth, a scholar and a publisher who ought to know better, are doing here. And they're doing it for one and one reason only: money.
You want to teach Huck Finn to 4th graders and skip over the n-word? Fine. Send me an e-mail and I'll print you out an edited edition for free... with a big "This version has been modified from the original" on the cover and in the footer of every page. Don't financially reward Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books for grave-robbing Mark Twain's work and pretending it was for your protection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent version... NOTHING is missed in these stories... And no need to cringe when certain words come up..... Get this version of great stories!Published 3 months ago by Ray P.
I don't know what I was thinking, but after you dumb it down to remove all non-PC language, it really destroys the whole feel of time and place.Published on January 15, 2014 by Bob
The New South version of Huck Finn replaces the n-word with 'slave'. This is only helpful for us teachers that have students who would rather not read the offensive word. Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by Heather McGuire
The reviews listed here refer to the edited edition rather than the original text edition. Professor Gribben and NewSouth have provided both the original and the edited versions... Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Jeffrey Melton
Michael Flax and Rod Davis have already left spirited, eloquent defenses of this edition, so I just want to say that I sincerely do not get the outrage among these negative... Read morePublished on April 20, 2011 by PopWatcher
I just watched the discussion of the NewSouth edition of Tom and Huck on "60 Minutes." I have always admired Randall Williams, both as an editor and a friend, but never more so... Read morePublished on March 22, 2011 by Rod Davis
Is this what the world was in so dire need of, a sanitized version of a classic of literature? Look out Uncle Remus, your next. Read morePublished on March 13, 2011 by Kelly Gold
I have read about this controversial edition and I think it's a great option for anyone offended by the STILL-AVAILABLE original version(s). Read morePublished on February 26, 2011 by Michael Flax
Hey I got an idea. We could change a lot of words in a lot of books. In fact we could rewrite whatever part of history we don't agree with and pretend it didn't happen. Read morePublished on February 9, 2011 by PilgrimPoet