Do you have the right to change my words?

While watching 60 minutes last night I was troubled by a story that left me asking…Do you have the right to change my words? The story was about the editing of Mark Twain’s classic, Huckleberry Finn. Editing a classic? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why does anyone have the right to change the words this author gave us?
For me writing is a very personal experience. I chose my words carefully in order to paint a picture for the reader. By changing the words that Mark Twain left for us are we changing the picture he was trying to paint? I say YES! We have taken a Rembrandt and turned it into a painting whose colors are confused and broken. I have no doubt this form of censorship would sadden Mr. Twain.

2 thoughts on “Do you have the right to change my words?

  1. It is sad. The book, the characters, and the vernacular, are reflective of the time period in the story, and were not designed by Mark Twain to promote racism, or inequality. Anyone with an intellect could see that. The publisher’s, in this case, have become self-appointed literary policemen, or literary vigalante’s. Sad, indeed! I wonder what George Orwell would have thought of this?

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