The idea of a more politically correct Finn came to the 69-year-old English professor over years of teaching and outreach, during which he habitually replaced the word with "slave" when reading aloud. Gribben grew up without ever hearing the "n" word ("My mother said it's only useful to identify [those who use it as] the wrong kind of people") and became increasingly aware of its jarring effect as he moved South and started a family. "My daughter went to a magnet school and one of her best friends was an African-American girl. She loathed the book, could barely read it."Instead of sanitizing books written in more civilized eras, liberals should do what other cults have done to handle taboos, and devise some sort of purification ritual adherents can perform after reading or hearing “nigger,” or any other “unclean” words. A little self flagellation with a stalk of organically grown bok choy, followed by a bottled spring water ablution, would do the trick.
06 January 2011
Alan Gribben, who pretends to be a scholar of Mark Twain, has edited new versions of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer with the word “nigger” removed: