The language police are at it again. They have just published a new version of Huckleberry Finn that has replaced its one offensive word with the word slave. We all know what the word is, but it has gained such infamy, that I can't write it here even though it would not be used with any attempt to anger someone or hurt someone's feelings. Using phrases like the N-word or the F-word for our other unmentionable word reminds me of the Harry Potter books where the number one bad guy is called He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned.
Trying to edit or sanatize a great work of literature can destroy the author's intent. Twain said it best when he said, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." We are talking about a book that many people, myself included, believe is the great American novel. It just shouldn't be done.
Do you still think that a little editing can't change a writer's intent? Suppose Rhett Butler had said, "Frankly me dear, I don't give a darn." It's just not the same.
If you are worried about content that might be objectionable to some people, do what Tipper Gore wanted to do with CDs--put a warning label on the cover. I would much rather mar the cover of a book instead of it's content.
I have never understood how the minds of people who would ban books work. Where did they get the idea that they have the right to tell the rest of us what we can and can't read? What makes them think that they know what's best for everybody else? You have to have an ego too big to measure to think like that.
I suppose that sanitizing Huckleberry Finn is better than banning it as some communities have. By the way, some of those same communities have also banned the Harry Potter books. On second thought, I'm wrong. It's much worse to try to rewrite a great book than to ban it. Just be aware that once you ban a book, more people will end up reading it.
People do have a right to find a book objectionable. They can even hate it if they want to. What they don't have a right to do is decide what someone else wants to read. There are some places where that is done, but believe me, you wouldn't want to live there.