In a message dated 4/16/2007 12:30:41 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
I am an African American who has spoken for the novel as being non-
racist. No where I have been around the country, speaking to all
races, have I encountered opposition when we discuss what the novel
actually says and renders.
Jocelyn A, Chadwick
I appreciate your views on this question, and note the difference being
"actually says and renders." Fiction, especially great fiction, may
wide diversity of reader reaction. I recall a class on *Lolita* which some
students felt was merely a book about pedophilia. I suspect the flap about
has to do more with a word many find distasteful today, than it has to do
true issues of racism.
I was speaking with Dr. Tenney earlier today and we observed that racism
a matter of judgment of the heart. Whatever else he was or wasn't,
qualities Sam owned or lacked, I've never seen any convincing proof that he
lacked a good strong resilient heart. Why else would Huck declare he'd go
hell rather than betray Jim? Would a racist put that in the book?
I suspect these questions can never be definitively answered to everyone's
satisfaction. One question I'd like to pose: Where was Livy when it came
editing the proofs of HF? Wouldn't she have lobbied for the term to be