Thursday, March 24, 2011
God Save The Artist's Work
I love this shot of me with a statue of Mark Twain. Oh, if only I could truly ask him how he feels about a publisher changing words in his work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The novel is often referred to as the great American novel.
The message appeared to be very clear at the Huck Finn Dilemma panel discussion on Monday night at CVCC - Alexander Campus. Don't mess with Mark Twain's stuff!! Or if you prefer to use his real name - Samuel Clemens' stuff!
The event was sponsored by the Alexander Friends of the Library. The community discussion of New South Publisher's decision to remove the N-word from the classic tale elicited many comments from folks of all ages.
Guest panelists were Lori Special -Youth Services Consultant with the State Library of North Carolina, and Dr. Bill Vinson - Alexander Central English teacher and an adjunct faculty member for Appalachian State University. Each gave a brief presentation for their stance and then the floor was opened to the public to chime in with their thoughts.
Not a soul in the room wanted the change of the N-word to "slave." Dr. Vinson quoted Kafke and noted that books should sting us and make us uncomfortable.
Mrs. Special, who is African-American, agreed. She pointed out that the shock is taken away away by removing the N-word - and the historical significance. In Twain's time that was what was said. How can we learn from past mistakes if they are covered up?
Have a great weekend! Go Heels!