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View Diary: Write On! Censorship and Resolutions. (124 comments)

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  •  My Problem With Gribben's Defense..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, pico, WiseFerret

    Is that it's basically a concession to those who refuse to see the context of the word.

    Here was further proof that a single debasing word was overwhelming every other consideration.

    My feelings about this situation crystallized into a definite resolve. Unquestionably the presence of this indefensible word is eroding the potential audiences for two engrossing portraits of nineteenth-century scenes along the Mississippi River.

    I don't want to demean Dr. Gribben or question his motives (which I believe are pure), but parts of that intro reads like what a TV network executive would write to producers explaining why they need to change or take out dialogue that might be controversial.

    •  I think this is a little unfair (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rimjob, cfk, WiseFerret

      a concession to those who refuse to see the context of the word

      Here's another possible way of viewing it: Gribben wants to restore what reading Twain would have been like in the 19th century.  He argues that Twain's first consideration, even in a novel this dark, was to entertain as wide a readership as possible.  What's happened in the past hundred years is that this kind of reading has become culturally impossible, like pre-WWII art that uses the swastika.

      Gribben isn't telling us we have to choose between these two options: in fact, he argues pretty forcefully that the 'original' (heh) editions are and should be readily available for anyone who wants to read them.  But Twain wanted to entertain first: surely everyone remembers Twain's own note to the reader, right?

      The consequence of dismissing people as "not getting it", Gribben argues, explains why every year Huck Finn is read less and less.  And hey, maybe that's just the fate of works that are mostly, but not quite, timeless.  

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 06:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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