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First Dr. Seuss, then Roald Dahl, now Ian Fleming, and I’m sure there has been and will be others. Do I have an opinion on the revising of books to remove offensive language and revised to reflect the different views of today?
Oh, you wanted to hear it. When I read a book that was written decades or centuries ago and I come across language which is considered offensive today, I accept the historical context that it is used. Does it mean it should be rewritten? Maybe, if the publisher/author wants to reach a modern audience, but I think that the original should still be an option so that the choice is there.
Personally, I don’t like to read books with excessive violence, or sexual situations, but others do and they should have that right. Some stories wouldn’t work without that content, so if we remove that, it’s destroying the author’s creation.
I have no issue with children’s books being more representative of the classrooms they are in. We tell children not to call anyone ugly or fat, so when those terms come up in literature, it seems to contradict our advice.
Ugly / adj. very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.
I think the second definition is important: “offensive to the sense of beauty” or an individual’s sense of beauty, but is it acceptable to tell someone who you do not find attractive, “I think you are ugly.” Of course not. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but we need to teach what is considered hurtful and what is appropriate.
But, isn’t what is considered hurtful and what is appropriate, subjective?
Sigh. Sadly, yes. And therein lies the problem. But, I believe the majority of society agrees with the basic views of what we should be imparting on our children. So, how to we change to impart these important life ideals? Does The Ugly Duckling become The Duckling with a Negative Self-Opinion on its Appearance?
I don’t know that answer. I do know that some people are just plain mean and always will be, but fortunately, most are not. It’s up to everybody to raise the next generation to be accepting and caring.
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Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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3 thoughts on “Weird Wednesday March 1: Cartoons and Book sale (oh, and that whole rewriting books thing.)”
Humes! Very clever 😂
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