04 August 2004

Hucking With Words

      Ah, one professor's tale of dealing with Huckleberry Finn and all those nasty N-words.   It's a tough question, whether to invoke those hated words these days, but I think my instinct would be to say them, if only to do two things, to maintain the integrity of the original text, and to wrest the language from the Nobodaddy of words that dare not be spoken.   Twain's use of the word is deliberately excessive, grotesque, offensive-- and to deny those words, or to gloss over them for whatever reasons (however noble) is to miss a crucial point.  That said, the N-word is one of the very few even I shrink from; it's horrible, though, to think what humanity can do to language.   And to itself.

No comments:

Blog Archive