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Rewriting history

I’m flipping through the news feeds on my phone because seriously, listening to the depressing broadcasts that are evening news can make one want to slit their wrists and gnash their teeth.

Imagine my shock when I ran across an article proclaiming that Huckleberry Finn was going to be brought into the 21st century.

It seems that their are people out there who think there is a specific word in the master, Mark Twain’s legacy that should be removed and replaced with the word “slave”.  As I sat there gasping like a fish out of water at the nerve of people to rewrite a classic, I read on.  Here were the arguments:

PRO–let’s rewrite history.

Some professor of classics back east is saying that the word Twain used now has so many negative connotations that the literary work must be adjusted to fit the modern times.  It’s an offensive word and by changing it to “slave” will in no way change the overall book.

CON–leave it the hell alone.

A literary historian at Auburn University said it was ignorant to remove the word.  Yes, in today’s vernacular, it is offensive. However, Twain used it deliberately to make his readers uncomfortable so they would be aware of the social discord around them. If it still makes people uncomfortable, then it’s doing its job, so leave it alone.

Sorry, I’m going to have to side with the Auburn dude, because really people, as one tweet put it, making this move is like removing the adultery from the Scarlet letter. Or, from my perspective, removing the cannibalism from Lord of the Flies.  I realize the victors always write history, but our classic books are classics for a reason, so leave them alone.  It’s not like you have to read them!


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1 Comment

  1. I totally agree. I wish people didn’t have the power in the first place to change the past on their own whims. It’s a disgrace.


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