One Person’s Response To A Sanitized Huck Finn
Well, I hope this action of Mr. Gribben’s in no way distracts from the two editions I have planned of Huckleberry Finn coming out in the spring. One is a legal/military redacted version where the offensive words are blacked out. The other is a MAD LIBS version where the offensive words are omitted and replaced with a 15 character space allowing the reader to supply an appropriate word of his or her choice. (Alan C. Reese, on the Mark Twain List Server)
As the discussion of the issue of “redacting” Twain’s works continues, I think it relevant to mention that Alan Gribben is a respected Mark Twain scholar who teaches English at Auburn University, Montgomery. He certainly knows the importance of maintaining the integrity of Twain’s work and even the importance of Twain’s use of language. All the more, it makes one wonder why he took on the task of publishing PC version of Huck Fin and Tom Sawyer. Apparently, he wants to combat censorship based on a few words. But I think in so doing, he sacrifices both Twain’s works and good pedagogy.