Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Mark Twain House & Museum Responds to the new "Huck Finn" Controversy

The recent announcement of the NewSouth Books’ upcoming release of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – a new edition of the Mark Twain classics that double-yokes the two seminal novels into one text while eliminating the controversial “n”-word and the use of the term “Injun” – has created a firestorm of attention. The novels, which Twain worked on during his time in Hartford, continue to provoke controversy, passion and discussion.

The Mark Twain House & Museum currently has an exhibition entitled Yours Truly, Huck Finn that considers the creation of this enduring classic. The exhibition features first editions, original illustrations, publication history, pop culture representations, and a section on the book being censored and banned. Yours Truly, Huck Finn, which was originally scheduled to close this weekend, has been extended through Sunday, January 16 to allow guests to learn more about the book.

Mark Twain House & Museum Executive Director Jeffrey Nichols states, “Although we admire Dr. Alan Gribben’s scholarship and share his desire to have the books be widely accessible in schools, we encourage readers to experience Mark Twain’s original text whenever possible. Our education department actively works with schools across the country to contextualize the troubling race relations and use of the ‘n’-word during Twain’s lifetime. We invite teachers to contact us if they would like assistance on how to integrate the text into their curriculum in a socially and historically responsible way. We invite the public to visit our current Yours Truly, Huck Finn exhibition to explore why the novel has endured for over 125 years and the house where Twain lived while he created this masterpiece.”

Yours Truly, Huck Finn is sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation with additional support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Your steadfastness in the recent controversy on altering Twain's original words is to be admired. Americans (and all readers) must face the reality of the history of racism and slavery in our country. To alter Twain's words is to alter this history. Keep up the good work!