Like that of many others posting on this subject, my first reaction to this
news was one of astonishment. However, after giving the matter further
thought, I wonder if it wouldnít be better to carry the revision of
_Huckleberry Finn_ even further. And, Iím happy to report, Iím ready to
help. About sixteen years ago, just for fun, I started to rewrite the book
myself, with the idea of publishing it as _The Politically Correct (but
Wrecked) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_. To provide some of the flavor of
my 100% non-offensive text, hereís my version of Papís drunken diatribe.
(Note, by the way, how neatly it handles the uncomfortable matter of
substituting ďslaveĒ for the uncomfortable word that begins with the letter
following M in the alphabet.)
"Oh, yes, we have wonderful institutions! How's this for an example: I heard
of a free African American from Ohio who dressed better than any European
American in town. He even had a gold watch and chain and silver-headed cane.
Oh yes, he was quite the dandy. What's more, they said he was a multilingual
college professor with a vast repertoire of knowledge. That was bad enough.
When they said he could vote in his home state, that was too much. What, I
wondered, is our country coming to? Well, it happened to be election day and
I would have gone to vote myself, if I been in a condition to get there
safely, but when I heard that there's a state which actually lets a person
of color vote, I stopped and said that I would never vote again. Those are
my exact words--everyone heard me. Why, the country can founder for all I
care. And to think of the presumption of that man--why, he wouldn't have
conceded my right-of-way unless I pushed him aside! When I asked why he
wasn't sold back into involuntary servitude, do you know what people said?
That he couldn't be sold unless he spent six months in the state. How's that
for an example of our government institutions? Pretty sad, if you ask me."