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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 20:26:23 EST
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How is this even legal?
In a message dated 1/4/2011 5:51:09 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Kevin,  you hit on a significant point--the teaching of the novel, the =
time, the  people.  In the United States,  students most usually =
encounter  "Huck"  at the 11th grade-- the American literary survey. =
Students  will have experienced several of Twain's other pieces at =
earlier grades.  "A True Story," "Huck," Uncle Tom's Cabin," and now =
works by Frances  Harper and Pauline Hopkins are included, along with =
essays, journals,  etc. I have interacted with this novel and students of =
all ethnicities  for some time now, and I have yet to encounter students =
who resolutely  reject the reading of the work, IF they feel one has =
prepared to  teach/share/experience it with  them and IF they feel safe =
in the  classroom. Much of the success for the teaching of any piece of =
American  literature, whether  in high school or undergraduate, depends =
on the  teacher. I feel the goal of teaching any piece of challenging =
literature  is to encourage students to experience the work and determine =
for  themselves whether that experience enlightened them in some  way or  =
whether the experience left them flat and unaffected.=20

By  teaching  American works such as "Huck,"  modern students can begin  =
to understand that at one time language really did make a difference;  =
that words really do carry weight and consequences.
On Jan 4, 2011, at  5:27 PM, Kevin Mac Donnell wrote:

> I think this edition of  HF  is sparking exactly the debate that would =
> expected. The  Wallace edition sparked a similar debate. I wonder if =
>  debates are misdirected.
> As a member of the textual purist  camp, I have an uneasy feeling 

> tinkering with Twain's  texts for any reason. But if the reason is to =
> the text  to a readership that would otherwise not experience the book  =
> all, and the textual change is openly acknowledged (I hope  it is =
spelled out=20
> in the introduction to this edition), then  maybe this is a Good Thing, =
> sort of HF with training  wheels.
> I do wonder if the word "nigger" gets in the way of  teaching the book, =
> distracts a young reader from the  irony, dual narratives, metaphors, =
> satire, etc., that  make the book a great work of art, a masterpiece.  =
>  never taught the book, so I can't say.  I've heard of black readers  =
> expressed anguish having to endure the repeated use of the  word, and=20=

> certainly it must be a distraction for  them.
> But I have a more basic question-- exactly when are  kids ready to read =
> I seem to recall Twain himself saying  something along the lines of 

> Sawyer being a boy's book,  and HF a book for those who were once boys =
> does anybody  have a citation for this quote?). That's as big a =
difference  as=20
> the one over the bug, with or without lightning (or lightning,  with 

> without the bug)..
> Kevin
>  @
> Mac Donnell Rare Books
> 9307 Glenlake Drive
> Austin TX  78730
> 512-345-4139
> Member: ABAA, ILAB
>  *************************
> You may browse our books at
> ----- Original Message  -----=20
> From: "Martin D. Zehr" <[log in to unmask]>
> To:  <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 2:53  PM
> Subject: Re: a new Adventures of Huckleberry  Finn
>> Sometime in the long distant past, my  teenage years, to be exact, I =
>> Hu=3D
>> ck  for the first time, a sanitized version like the one which is  

>> subjec=3D
>> t of this discussion.=3DA0 Years  later, I read the real thing, and I =
>>  re=3D
>> call the feeling of disgust, even anger,=3DA0at being  cheated of the =
>> forc=3D
>> e of the banality  of racism in Twain's original.=3DA0 I realize Huck =
>>  alw=3D
>> ays be a difficult book to teach, but putting another  gutted version =
>> fo=3D
>> r consumption by a  new generation of readers, shielding them from the =
>>  =3D
>> force of the entrenched racism Twain meant to convey, is  certainly =
not the=20
>> =3D
>> answer.=3DA0 Just  another form of "evasion," I think Twain and his=20
>>  mission=3DA0=3D
>> are slighted, if not trivialized, by this form of  deception.=3DA0 =
Also, it=20
>> st=3D
>> ill grates to  see the article "The" in the title, the difference =
>>  th=3D
>> e "lightning" and the "lightning bug."
>>  =3DA0
>> And, in case it's not apparent, this is only my idle  opinion, worth =
>> yo=3D
>> u've paid for it,  and not meant to be a personal criticism of anyone=20=

>>  partic=3D
>> ipating in this discussion or this valuable, vital  forum, for that =
>> =3DA0
>> Martin  Zehr
>> Kansas City, Missouri
>> --- On Tue,  1/4/11, Jocelyn Chadwick <[log in to unmask]>  =
>> From: Jocelyn Chadwick  <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: a new Adventures  of Huckleberry Finn
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date:  Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 2:09 PM
>>  Given the re-emergence of racial rhetoric from a variety of  =
>> =3D3D
>> venues--Congress, Arizona,  South Carolina, for example, it would seem =
to =3D
>>  =3D3D
>> me Twain's novel is a greater must-read than ever before  WITH all of =
the =3D
>> =3D3D
>> original language. I  understand Alan's perspective, but I also =
realize =3D3D
>> that  we have entered into a phase where folks attending a secession =
ball  =3D
>> =3D3D
>> in South Carolina are lamenting the loss of  their ancestors' =
lifestyles; =3D
>> =3D3D
>> where my  home state of Texas=3DA0 has determined students have read =
enough  =3D
>> =3D3D
>> history about Latinos, African Americans,  Native Americans, women, =
and =3D3D
>> any sort of difference;  where the out-going Superintendent of AZ, Tom =
>> Horne  (who will=3DA0 also now become AZ's Attorney General), has  =
>> =3D3D
>> all ethnic studies to be  illegal: =3D3D20
>> HB 2281
>> The law bans K-12 classes  that:
>> Promote the overthrow of the U.S.  government.
>> Promote resentment toward a race or class of  people.
>> Are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic  group.
>> Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of  students as =
>> individuals.
>> "It becomes the  duty of the people of Arizona, through their elected =
>>  leaders . . . to put a stop to this, and to be sure that =
taxpayer-funded  =3D
>> =3D3D
>> public schools teach students to treat each  other as individuals, and =
>> not on the basis of the race  they happen to have been born into," =
>>  =3D3D
>> wrote.
>> The language in "Huck"  was, is, and will always be offensive and =3D3D
>>  uncomfortable;=3DA0 it should be; it must be,until we "get  =
>> =3D
>> my  =3D3D
>> thoughts. =3D3D20
>>  Jocelyn
>> On Jan 4, 2011, at 2:38 PM, Lawrence Howe  wrote:
>>> I'm wondering if Alan is on-list and  would like to clarify anything. =
>>  =3D3D3DA0I'm=3D3D3D
>>> particularly curious about how he handles  the scene in which pap =
rails =3D
>> =3D3D
>>  abo=3D3D3D
>>> ut the educated 'nigger' that inspires his wrath  against the =
gov'ment. =3D
>> =3D3D
>>  =3D3D3DA0T=3D3D3D
>>> his particular black man is not a slave, but  free. =3D3D3DA0So what =
word =3D
>> =3D3D
>> does  thi=3D3D3D
>>> s new text use to describe him?
>>>  Thanks for calling this to our attention, Michael. =3D3D3DA0The =
responses  =3D
>> =3D3D
>> on the =3D3D3D
>>> original  posting were illuminating. =3D3D3DA0I'm heartened to see so =
many  =3D
>> =3D3D
>> people =3D3D3D
>>> take words,  and even this one word, so seriously.=3D3D3DA0
>>>  --LH
>>> =3D3D20
>>> --- On Tue, 1/4/11, Mark  Woodhouse <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>  =3D3D20
>>> From: Mark Woodhouse  <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Subject: Re: a new Adventures of  Huckleberry Finn
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Date:  Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 1:05 PM
>>> =3D3D20
>>> Good  lord.
>>> =3D3D20
>>> I didn't know Alan was doing  this but I guess it doesn't surprise =
me. =3D3D
>>  It
>>> generates a lot of talk though doesn't it? Seems like it  would make =
a =3D3D
>> good
>>> classroom  discussion.
>>> (Although, I tried to get my CORE class to discuss  the violence over =
>> the
>>> Danish cartoons  of Muhammed and I got a lot of shrugging - like, =3D3D=

>> what's  the
>>> big deal? So maybe I'm not a judge of what makes for a  good =
>>> discussion. It seemed like Worlds  Colliding to me.)
>>> =3D3D20
>>> I tried to look at  all the comments to see if we knew anyone but I =
ran =3D
>>  =3D3D
>> out
>>> of steam.
>>>  =3D3D20
>>> On purely aesthetic grounds the thought of this sort  of thing makes =
>>> cringe. I can hear the dialogue in my  head and I know I'd be =
mumbling =3D3D
>> and
>>>  swearing to myself as I went along, mentally re-inserting the  =3D3D
>> original.
>>> =3D3D20
>>>  =3D3D20
>>> =3D3D20
>>> On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 1:28  PM, Michael Kiskis <[log in to unmask]> =
>>  wrote:
>>> =3D3D20
>>>> A former student sent me  this link to a story about a new edition =
of =3D3D
>>  Huck
>>>> --
>>>> to be edited by Alan  Gribben.=3D3D3DA0 If you read the story, =
scroll  down=20
>>>> =3D
>> =3D3D
>> to  re=3D3D3D
>>> ad
>>>> the variety of  comments.
>>>> =3D3D20
>>>>  =3D3D20
>>>> =3D3D
>>  =

>>  =3D3D3D=3D3D
>>> hpt=3D3D3D3DT2
>>>>  =3D3D20
>>>> --
>>>> Michael J.  Kiskis
>>>> Leonard Tydings Grant Professor of American  Literature
>>>> Elmira College
>>>> One Park  Place
>>>> Elmira, NY=3D3D3DA0 14901
>>>>  =3D3D20
>>> =3D3D20
>>> =3D3D20
>>>  =3D3D20
>>> --=3D3D3D20
>>> Mark  Woodhouse
>>> Head of Technical Services
>>> College  and Mark Twain Archivist
>>> Elmira College
>>> One  Park Place
>>> Elmira NY 14901
>>> 607 735  1869
>>  -----
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