Tuesday, July 5, 2011

By and by, I got to reading Huckleberry Finn

I actually got to listening Huckleberry Finn as I drove to and from my class in Northampton and to and from work. Like Emily, I never had to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in high school or college, and I don't know why. Well by and by, I got to it. I am so glad I finally did-- what a fun story! It was a really good book to listen to because the reader had the dialect and voices down perfect. I think if I physically had to read all the dialect bits with "We would learn Jim how to write on the shirt" instead of "We would teach Jim to write on the shirt" I might get really irritated. Listening to it made those parts blend in. I found the story really funny, especially how Tom is dead set on making everything so hard in order to be "right" and Huck thinks that's ridiculous. I agree with Emily that everything ties up a little too neatly in the end, but I'm glad Jim was freed.

Regarding Twain's use of the word "nigger"-- 60 Minutes did a brilliant segment earlier this year about a publisher replacing every instance of the word with "slave" instead. I linked to the transcript of the show because I found it really interesting. If I were black, I may feel differently, but I find Twain's usage a sign of the times and to change the text in such a way makes it a shadow of the great story it is.


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