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dinsdag 11 januari 2011

Niggers is always talking...

Nog even over het rumoer rond de vervanging van nigger door slave in een recente Amerikaanse uitgave van Huckleberry Finn, zie mijn bericht 6 januari. Natuurlijk haalde dit ook de LinkedIn-groep van International Reading Association. (Zie ook hier.) Het prettige van deze groep is dat iedereen met naam en toenaam bijdragen instuurt.
Zo stuurde ene Rhonda Cratty op 7 januari een compleet artikel mét reacties uit Examiner.com in en omdat ik denk dat dit representatief is, geef ik het hier in zijn geheel weer:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been censored, found unfit historical literature for readers and rewritten. A new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn omits a racial epithet that has caused controversy since the book took its place decades ago on the shelf of great American literature.   In place of the word n - - - - -, the word "slave" will be substituted in a combined edition of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, to be published next month by NewSouth Books.
Professor, Alan Gribben, of English at Auburn University-Montgomery, says his new edition is for readers who cannot get past the slur to take in the rest of the book — and thereby understand Twain's opposition to racism.
Both Banning and censoring books happens almost every week in the United States. Often people take notice of banned books, protest, and the banned is lifted. Sometimes nobody notices and the banned book stays lost to a school or country.  When a book is lost so is a piece of our history.
Censorship in all forms must be opposed in the United States; it is an old pastime and hobby of many without thought of preserving our literary history.
We, the people of United States, have a history.  We have been far from perfect, our thoughts, deeds, and written words have evolved.  The idea of losing or out right changing our literary history is against The First Amendment that was adopted on December 15, 1791. The Amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The American Revolution was not just a revolution of politics but also literature. The colonists published an abundance of newspaper articles, books, essays, and pamphlets in opposition to numerous  forms of British tyranny. Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776) and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (1776) are two well-known and influential examples of revolutionary literature. 
In the spirit of our history do we want people rewriting our literature?  Is it better to pretend our literature history was written “politically correct” according to our standards?  Wouldn’t it be better to teach our children to read critically?  To not be controlled by books, movies, games... but to be able to think and speak with purpose about what they read, see or do. To learn and understand words and be able to discuss their meaning and improperness’ in today’s society.  Perhaps we might be better to honor and embrace our past literature, read it with our children.  Discuss it as a family and make an informed decision as a family of our values.


Heidi Cox 4 days ago
Wow definitely some food for thought! If everyone took the time to read with their children and talk it through, that would be best!
Heidi Cox, DC Women's Health Examiner

Margie Slivinske 4 days ago
Banning classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Really? Has that really been a solution to anything? Great article, Rhonda - very well said!
San Jose Easy Meals Examiner
Sustainable Seafood Examiner

Sanders Kaufman 2 days ago
Nobody here suggested any kind of ban against any book whatsoever.
It's just an update to replace language that is not used by American students.
It's like how they read Dostoevsky novels - but not in the original Russian as it was written.
Sure, it loses something - but the alternative is to teach them to read Russian in order to pass an English course - which would be really, really silly.

Martha Lindberg - Mankato Frugal Living Examiner 3 days ago
I heard about the Huckleberry Finn rewrite on NPR. I feel a special tie to Mark Twain, as I was born in Hannibal, MO, and visited the area frequently as a child. I can see the area in my mind's eye, the way the river and the country looks there, and it is like home.
It is too bad that a rewrite is necessary. People think with their feelings, not with their intellect, and I guess there is no way around that. Racism hurts too much. At least, the book is now available to those who are too badly hurt by epithets.

Sanders Kaufman 2 days ago
It's not about hurting anyone's feelings.
It's just about making the book readable by modern-day students.

Nancy Zielinski 3 days ago
I heard about this on the news and I'm not sure I agree with it. I think the book should stand as is but the various issues some may find offensive discussed in school. BTW-just realized I haven't been getting any of your articles although I am a subscriber. Will try again to re-subscribe, but it tells me I am already subscribed.
Nancy Z-Grand Rapids Public Health Examiner and Sexual Health Examiner

Rick Ackerly 3 days ago
It's very simple: Those who would censor a piece of literature to take out distasteful or terrible things do not understand education. It is important for children to hear and see the world as it is and for us to help them understand and develop the intellectual, social, emotional and character disciplines to handle it all and make it creative. SImple (maybe not easy, but simple.) Shall we teach WWII without the butchery and the death camps and the racism?

Sanders Kaufman 2 days ago
That's not true.
Children are not yet ready to see the world as it is.
That' what makes them children.
That's why we can't take them to boxing matches, honkey-tonks, strip joints and Republican Party fund-raisers.

James Russell Bailey 2 days ago
People don't take their kids to boxing matches?
What planet do you live on in your SP solar system?
Kids are CURRENTLY involved in gyms, sports clubs, community sports complexes, etc., in BOXING CLASSES.
This includes kids from Elementary School to High School....all levels all age groups, just like for other sports.
Pull your head out will you?

Pat Anthony 3 days ago
No...we don't want people rewriting history, but it will continue to happen.

Sanders Kaufman 2 days ago
Don't take the book too seriously - it's not really a history book.
Unabridged versions will always be available for people who get a cheap thrill from seeing the n-word.

Sanders Kaufman 2 days ago
In High School, I remember reading Canterbury Tales.
Well, it wasn't *really* the Canterbury tales - the real Canterbury Tales was written in a now obsolete version of English that is known as "Gaelic", I think.
When the teacher assigned it, she made sure to let us know that we were not getting the original version, but that the original version was available out ther for us to get on our own.
I learned what I needed to learn - without having to learn a dead language.
I have no problem with kids today having that same advantage.
So I say - go ahead and kill the ni.... well, maybe I shouldn't say THAT.

James Russell Bailey 2 days ago
Report Abuse
Your Social Progressive jack booted ignorance knows no bounds.
Yeah, let's lie to kids who are in Jr. Hi. and High School, so that they don't know what the 'real world' is like.
Tell me Kaufman, just who do you think are currently mostly in uniforms as Ground Pounders across the globe right now: 50 year olds?
No, TEENAGERS to those in their early 20's!
You are so deeply mired in your Politically Correct world of Social Progressive thuggery against anyone and anything that opposes your SP view of the world, you no longer have a grasp on Reality.
Something 'offends' your SP sensibilities, or makes someone in the SP camp feel 'uncomfortable'? Hey, just cut it right out of the text!
Don't like the fact that slavery was a standard part of human societies and cultures across the globe until the early 19th century (when Europeans began the move to BAN slavery); hey, just leave out all the parts that prove 'minorities' engaged in the slave trade as long or longer than Europeans....just leave the European parts in, but downplay the role of the Spanish and Portuguese; you know, those with Hispanic names MUST be exempted.
The list goes on and on......what a loser position is the SP worldview. Condemn and Censor.

Continue reading on Examiner.com.

En dan binnen vermelde groep nog een reactie, van Stacey Lundgren:
I believe that books should NOT be changed to reflect current standards in our society. Some words used not only in Huckleberry Finn, but many other books of high literary value, are certainly not appropriate by today's standards. I do not use nor will I tolerate the use by anyone around me of the "n" word. My personal belief is that any negative reference to people of a particular race or religion is a reflection of fear and ignorance. However, many people used the "n" word for many years. Many people did lots of rotten things. It's part of our history, and to negate that history is to negate progress; and we are definitely progressing, at least in the arena of respect for others. But changing books is changing history, and that's a slippery slope. And where does it stop once we start that practice? Who decides which words are bad and which words are good? Come on... let's get off these futile high horses and do something that will actually benefit society! Let's start with eradicating child pornography....

Discussie ongetwijfeld nog niet gesloten...
Ben er (nog) niet toe gekomen om vertalingen van Huck door te vlooien.

Op 13 januari kreeg Stacey Lundgren bijval. O.a. van Cathy Puett Miller:
Thanks for posting this - my core heart of a librarian (from years ago) screams "NO!" - don't change a word. What I also want to bring up is the idea that, if we sanitize history and avoid controversy, then we lose opportunities for us to talk with children. Part of the difficulties with families is that our fast-paced, technology rich (not that I have anything against that in and of itself) world stifles those interactions or at least makes it more necessary for conversations to be included in everyday life intentionally. 

My husband pointed out that Jim, the African-American character, rose above that label as the only truly honorable one in the book and what a message is that! I've even heard of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer actually being on banned book lists which floors me. 

When our son was in 5th grade, I read some of Mildred Taylor's books which also contain "the n word" and it was a terrific opportunity to talk with those students about how hateful and inappropriate that word was and its historical context. Are we so afraid of critical thinking that we will abandon anything that makes the slightest hint of uncomfortableness. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it - I've heard that somewhere before. '

Ik wacht nieuwsgierig op een opponent, maar ik denk dat die zeldzaam zijn onder beroepsleesbevorderaars.

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