Monday, 28 February 2011

New Edition of 'Huckleberry Finn:' Censorship at its Finest?

New Edition of 'Huckleberry Finn:' Censorship at its Finest?

Edward Johnson is a guest writer for radiology technician on the subject of earning bachelors programs in radiology

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is widely considered by scholars to be the great American novel. Centered around the story of the mischievous boy of the title, Huck Finn follows its protagonist and his unlikely partner, a runaway slave named Jim, through the American south before the Civil War. The book is lauded for its unflinching and often scatching depictions of a young country at an explosive time. It shows the United States' rural region with equal parts beauty and ugliness.

This ugliness mainfests itself in racism, which includes frequent use of the N-word. The prolific appearance of the word has led many to misguidedly label the book racist itself, furthering stereotypes and promoting prejudiced attitudes. Such a sentiment is completely wrong, but has led many a school to ban the book, depriving young readers of a true American classic that lambasts the attitudes detractors purport it to have.

In a move to combat these misconceptions, NewSouth Books' upcoming edition of Twain's masterpiece will not feature the N-word at all. Instead, it will be replaced in all instances by the word "slave." Injun will also be excluded as well. The effort is helmed by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who thinks his version is an attempt to update the classic and expose it to wider audiences who would otherwise be turned off by its repeated use of the hurtful word.

The move has sparked immense controversy, with many people crying "censorship!" and others claiming that it is taming, even emasculating and desecrating a classic, untouchable text. But is the replacement of the N-word censorship, is it a needed update, or does it lie somewhere else entirely?

I'm inclined to believe that while the new edition has its heart in the right place, and so is not censorship, it is misguided. The N-word is an ugly and awful word that represents the worst of our nation's history. I understand Gribben and company's idea that removing the word will allow readers to see what the book is truly saying without being blinded by such an accosting label, and will help get the book back in schools and other institutions where it rightfully belongs.

But to remove the word entirely is to gloss over a sordid part of our nation's history and attitudes toward race and class. The word was a sign of the times, one that unfortunately still perseveres to this day. Including the word keeps its impact, both historical and social.

Some have argued that removing the word is akin to "bleeping out" curse words from movies broadcast on television or explicit songs played on the radio. Huck Finn is literature, and in literature there is no place for dancing around the facts or dulling the brute force of uncomfortable truths.


17-02-2011 Chesterfield Market (6)04

Whether you're pro or anti-fur, there's something gloriously decadent about a row of them.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Power Station

16-02-2011 power station sml

Taken from the M1 in Leicestershire on the 16th

Friday, 25 February 2011

Five Reasons You're Not Writing Your Novel

Five Reasons You're Not Writing Your Novel

Fifty Two Stitches

This post was written by Jessica Stilling who also writes for pharmacy technician and this website.
So you've always wanted to be a writer. Maybe you got that fancy MFA, or you sit in your room during all hours of the night typing away, or maybe you fantasize about what it would be like to be a best selling author at your day job. Whatever the case, you know it?s time to write that novel and yet you're waiting. Why? Here are a few reasons you might be waiting, and a few reasons why putting it off would be the worst mistake of your life.

#1. You don't have time. Make time. Yes, you have a job, a family, a social life. There are bills to pay and a girlfriend to keep happy. You don't need to give up your life, or your income, to write, just set aside some time. Wake up an hour earlier and write a few pages every day, set aside a few hours on the weekend when you would otherwise be breezing through an entire season of Dexter. Evaluate how you're using your time and see where you might find room for writing.

#2. You're not inspired. This is a problem and no, the solution is not simply get inspired. Though inspiration may seem like a magical force that comes and goes whenever it feels like it, there are ways to jumpstart creative juices. Sit and think for a while, go for a walk, sit on a park bench and listen and watch people. Maybe the inspiration for the heroine for your best seller is standing over by the hot dog vendor.#3. Your head is not in the right place. Again, this solution is not so simple, you can't just get your head in the right place to write a novel. Still, there are ways to evaluate where your head is and where it needs to be. Is your boyfriend being a pain, does your best friend need to cry on your shoulder about her latest break up? You don't need to drop every emotional connection you have, on the contrary, those connections can feed creative juices, but you might want to re-evaluate where you're spending your emotional energy.

#4. The Market. The market is bad, the market is flooded, the market doesn't want this. Whatever the reason, the all mighty market seems to take a lot of blame for a lot of unwritten novels. What does the market have to do with your writing? Maybe by the time you finish this project the market will have turned around, maybe you'll be the lucky one person who hits it big? And if not, so what? You?re writing a novel, not working for the market.

#5. You simply do not believe that you and/or your idea is good enough. Well that's just silly. You've wanted to write since you were how old? You?ve been planning this novel at least in the abstract for how long? Of course you have talent, and of course your idea has merit and even if those publishers and agents tell you otherwise, don?t listen. Your ideas, your talent will grow as you write this novel.

Overall, you owe it to yourself, you owe it to your work and the greater literary society to write this novel. So go for it.

Northern Tea Rooms

14-02-2011 DK at Northern Tea Rooms

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A State of Madder - readers needed (30 pages)

If you like crime fiction with a splach of humourous banter,

please consider reading and reviewing

as it's in a competition to get it published.

Jeremy Hitchin was drowned in turps and covered in paint.
What is his connection to a woman thrown off a cliff and a man burned to death in a barn?

Please also consider a friend's gripping tale

The insurgency in Saudi Arabia appeared over until a shadowy group calling itself “The Prophet’s Soldiers” began a campaign of terror.

Morrison's Tree

11-02-2011 Chesterfield (s)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cannon Mill

10-02-2011 Goytside Road (1)04

The oldest factory building in Chesterfield

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Muddy Path

15-02-2011 woods sml

a sea of mud where the path used to be
I am surrounded by the hiss of rain
and the needs of trees

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Storm Coming

06-02-2011 cemetery sml

Crows glean the dog field
plastic bags take shelter
in the hedgerow

Sunday, 6 February 2011


03-02-2011 dogs (5)06

A rare photo.
Jack (the smaller dog) doesn't generally share anything with Bear,
let alone his favourite sleeping spot.