The N-word of the Narcissus

Comments

1
Wow. WOW.

Having lived through the crusades of the late 80s/early 90s, I've seen some incredible feats of PC overcorrection, including the rewriting of a church hymn to remove/rewrite the phrase "open mine eyes to the glory of the Lord" so as not to offend non-sighted parishioners.

But this is just ridiculous.
2
Perhaps he can re-record Patty Smith's "Rock N Roll Nigger."

(I will admit I love the song, but the terminology is a bit uncomfortable. Perhaps what Patty wanted.)
3
Even if you thought replacing the word in the whole book was a good idea (not something I'm granting), why not choose something a little less ridiculous and clumsy sounding? "The Negro of the Narcissus," while not necessarily PC in today's terms, would be much less offensive and a bit less anachronistic as well.

"We're rednecks . . . keepin' the n-words down."
4
Wow, we really ARE a nation of children...
5
Woman is the n-word of the world.
6
He should move on to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Moron.
7
It probably IS true that the word, esp. in the title, prevents it from being included in school reading and such. But yeah, seriously, there's got to be a better way to handle it. Right?
8
So let me get this straight. He took the word out of a book about the power of white guilt because his white guilt made the word too difficult to stomach? The guy is either an unreflective fool or a postmodern satirist of the highest order.
9
i don't want to be called yo nigga of narcissus
10
stupid lasts forever
11
Of course, now Borders could probably put it on its shelves.
12
But that doesn't even make sense! The book is not about a word. If you're going to play this stupid PC censorship game, it would at least be semantically correct to call it The N***** of the Narcissus.

What an idiot.
13
@8 - My thoughts exactly.
14
Ronald Firbank's "Prancing N-word".

Kill me now.
15
Could you pass me the oar, N-word Jim?
16
Poor wittle Ruben Alvarado is afwaid of the bad, bad word...well, we'll show that stubborn thing called "actual human experience" (otherwise known as "history") who's boss! A little creative editing and we can prevent anyone from having to experience the least bit of discomfort over things that actually may have happened at some point, but which offend our lofty "modern sensibilities."

Pathetic.
17
Wow, this is ridiculously dumb. To add to the absurdity, the book was originally published in the U.S. as "Children of the Sea," on the advice of Conrad's publishers. So if these publishers had wanted to use a less inflammatory title, they had a more authentic one ready-made.

And censoring the material within the book is just absurd. The book is racist, and at the same time a fresh, jarring, insightful exploration of race relations. Suppressing that contradiction in order to avoid offending people serves no purpose.
18
It's an edition published by conservative assholes who think they are being cute by tweaking liberals and PC types. All of you fell for it.
19
I wonder how many those complaining about this mild Bowlderization have read the book in any form, or even heard of it before. I certainly hadn't (though I don't pretend to be a connoisseur of literature).

While personally my choice would be to maybe just rename the title, along with an explanatory preface, I tend to agree with Alvarado's analysis that if this edit makes the book accessible to a wider audience, then it's worth it. After all, he didn't exactly change anything substantive. Compare with the changes made to Agatha Christie's 1939 novel 'Ten Little Niggers' for American audiences... changes made twice in fact, as the poem around which the plot revolves changed from "niggers" to "Indians" to "soldiers". Was political correctness run amok in 1940?

The word 'nigger' was in much more general use in 1897 (in addition to its more unfortunate uses, of course), especially in England and doesn't necessarily carry the same emotional weight for readers of that era as it does readers of this era. In this editor's opinion, such emotional weight was not only an obstacle to reading it in the first place, but presumably detracts from the message of the book.

The book is still widely available in its unedited form for those whose delicate sensibilities have been offended.

I also get annoyed when political correctness goes too far, but increasingly I find it even more annoying with anti-political correctness goes too far. Nowadays people act genuinely offended at any trivial sign of something they can label as political correctness! Give me a fucking break!
20
In the 1930's a teacher sent home a note to my mother saying that she should explain that uncle sam, a black man, african american, negro, black, take your pick. The men working with my dad did not call him names, he did as much work as they did. It was a term of respect in with many people in the mid-west to refer to older blacks as aunt or uncle.
It gets a little silly and respect should be given, but among friends to call a friend a crazy bastard was not a slam.
Or to speak of your friend as why you od son-of-a-bitch you need to slow down, was not a slam.
You know by the context when you are getting cussed out.
I gave up a good job in Huntsville, Alabama because of the stupidity of the followers of governor Wallace.
We are all human and the color of our skin is not who I am. I am called white because my ancestors were Scotch, Irish, Welsh.