Friday, January 07, 2011

He censored Mark Twain

BBC News - Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn

Editing a book, specially Hucklebery Finn to avoid offending readers is more offensive to Mark Twain and book readers than burning a book.


was reading reddit and saw this letter by Mark Twain when Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were removed from the children section of a library because it was too coarse.

"Dear Sir:

I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn for adults exclusively, & it always distressed me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean. I know this by my own experience, & to this day I cherish an unappeased bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again on this side of the grave. Ask that young lady - she will tell you so.

Most honestly do I wish I could say a softening word or two in defence of Huck's character, since you wish it, but really in my opinion it is no better than God's (in the Ahab & 97 others), & the rest of the sacred brotherhood.

If there is an Unexpurgated [Bible] in the Children's Department, won't you please help that young woman remove Tom & Huck from that questionable companionship?

Sincerely yours,
S. L. Clemens

I shall not show your letter to any one - it is safe with me."

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