The Latest Word From Huck Finn
The ‘N-word’ and ‘Injuns’ to be Edited out of New Edition of Mark Twain’s Classic
I’m not sure how I feel about this. When I teach the novel, I choose not to say the “n-word” aloud. I’m old enough to experience a visceral reaction to it. It’s one reason I don’t like listening to certain types of rap or hip-hop music. I explain to students they are more than welcome to say it (or not as they choose) when reading aloud or referring to passages in discussion. I teach them the importance of context and audience of any word. On the other hand, in principle, it’s sacrilege to me to edit out something so central to the historical context of a literary work. In practice, I guess I self-censor anyway. On the other other hand, the market may be the ultimate decider.