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Jerome Loving <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 7 Jan 2011 10:46:18 -0600
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On 1/7/11 10:02 AM, Harold Bush wrote:
> Folks;  I'm still working through the implications of all this about AHF,
> but can now throw in a few cents -- sitting here in LA and waiting for the
> book exhibit to open (it was NOT open yesterday, for some unexplained
> reason).
> I begin with an anecdote about Ted Williams -- who, when he passed, was
> considered the "greatest living ballplayer."  Immediately the debate ensued,
> about who was his logical replacement.  Was it Warren Spahn? Willie Mays?
> Henry Aaron???  or (gasp!) a pitcher -- Bob Gibson? Bob Feller (who just
> died a few months ago)??
> Anyway, yes-- I do have a point.  It seems strange, even uncanny, that this
> debate is timed just after the passing of Lou Budd, our own "best
> ballplayer," by many accounts.  Because in my view, there are just a few
> other special scholars whose name I would utter as a potential new "dean" of
> our craft.
> One of them is Alan Gribben.  I admit I was very surprised to hear that he
> was behind this new project.  But for now, and with all my reservations
> about what this brouhaha entails -- I'd like to give Alan a little leeway
> here, and I also think I'd like to speak on his behalf as one of the kindest
> and most knowledgeable Twain scholars.  There have been a few (vague)
> comments on here directed at Alan that approached the line between fair and
> mean, and that is very unfortunate.
> I do have reservations about this new, edited (bowdlerized?) text -- but
> Alan's credentials are impeccable and his character is well known to all of
> us.  I guess I'd mostly like to corner him and hear his explanation, because
> I'm sure he has one.

I agree with Harold Bush.  I've known Alan Gribben for almost thirty 
years and have always learned from his scholarship.  He was driven from 
his job at the University of Texas at the end of the 1980s essentially 
because he refused to give in to PC pressures in the selection of texts 
for Freshman English. He hates censorship as much as the rest of us.  He 
has produced a "children's" edition of this classic simply because it is 
now banned from so many classrooms across the country simply for the use 
of the N-word. See, for example, if you can find Theodore Dreiser's 
finest short story, "Nigger Jeff," in any college anthology today.He got 
the idea for his title, by the way, from Twain.