Huckleberry Finn, the Robot Edition

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32 Responses to “Huckleberry Finn, the Robot Edition”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I look at this like changing a history.

    Good point is taken in this video about holocaust.
    How about not mentioning WW2 and Auschwitz Konzentrationslager because its insulting for Auschwitz and German citizens?

    And are we gonna change word robot with some other word in future, when robots gonna have AI and feelings. They will not appreciate that they were treated as slaves in times of Mark Twain.

    How about forgeting about all ugly stuff that mankind has done?! That would be great! Everything would be so nice. Only good memories…

    …until that history repeats! And it repeats ALLOT!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a great way to sweep the issue under the rug! Just remove the humanity from it. Let me guess, the robot is Apple white?

  3. senorglory says:

    I’m streaming Blazing Saddles on netflix, while perusing these comments. Blazing Saddles avails itself of many a n-word. Well placed n-words, in context, for specific purposes. It’s funny. I don’t know if it would be as funny if Blazing Saddles used a different word. A word without both the historical and contemporary (contemporary at the time of making the movie) meaning of the n-word wouldn’t have the same zing. “Slave” would have no zing. “Robot” might give the script more a zag than a zing, but whatever.

  4. tyger11 says:

    +1 for the Tea Party dig.

  5. tyger11 says:

    I find hearing “the word ‘N-word” to be annoying. You can just say ‘the N-word’. Just like saying ‘ATM Machine’ and ‘PIN Number’ are redundant. That’s already part of the abbreviation, ya dig?

  6. muteboy says:

    Wait, are they implying that the N-word can be replaced with the R-word because the R’s are ALSO trying to take over the world?

  7. Anonymous says:

    OK, no need for kickstarter. Here it is: http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-and-the-robots/15108461

    PS: This is a very poor attempt at pouring the Gutenberg edition into a hardcover at Lulu. For entertainment purposes only. If you’re serious about this, contact me.

  8. antfarmer says:

    Can’t we just set something up on the self-publishing site lulu.com (or equivalent) with the whole book text and some little fill in the blank form so that we can pick our own word to substitute? Then we could get several versions to suit our mood of the day.

    For example, on Mondays I might want to read about Jar Jar Jim, on Tuesday perhaps Borg Jim, on Wednesday, that symbol for the artist formerly known as Prince, and on Thursday a randomly selected anti-spam captcha. Friday would have to be Eric Cartman. Saturday, Osama Bin Laden.
    Sunday, Pope Benedict.

  9. jennybean42 says:

    I didn’t realize that the name of the publisher who did that was “New South.” How apropos.

  10. Avram / Moderator says:

    And the word robot comes from the Czech word robota, meaning the unfree labor a serf was required to render to his feudal lord. In other words, a form of slave labor. So they’re sort of bringing the issue back to “Slave Jim”.

    • Shezebelle says:

      My thoughts exactly!

      I hope they raise all the money they ned to do this — “robot” is exactly the right choice to make this a brilliant bit of satire, because of the history of robots as metaphor for servitude.

      So the use of a robot actually keeps the central theme intact more closely than any other substitution I’ve seen (zombies, ninjas, hipsters… all a bit random), while still allowing them to make a point about the perceived need for the altering of challenging literature to make it more “palatable” by taking the alteration to the point of silliness.

      Go, Robot Jim!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Probably not librarians banning the books. More likely, it is community members forcing their own beliefs on others.

  12. Nelson.C says:

    Other alternative replacements: vampire, zombie, girl, hobo, hipster….

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just like that this article made a Mad TV reference.

  14. Mark Dow says:

    I find the r-word offensive.

  15. 23 says:

    Two things:

    In a similar vein to the original, I found it appropriate to remove all references to meat consumption from O Henry’s Gift of the Magi.

    There was actually an issue with the first editions of Huck Finn where one of the illustrative plates was modified to give Uncle Silas a penis. The extant copies with the pre-penis fly fetch over a thousand dollars more than the alternatives now.

  16. Yarp says:

    You can’t use the r-word; that’s our word.

  17. rebdav says:

    Because who wants a slave running for freedom on your white boy raft?

  18. shutz says:

    With all that sanitizing of these old classics, someone should do the complete opposite, and cram in more offensive language, to make it as “inappropriate” as possible.

    You know, as a stylistic exercise or tour de force. I mean, if it actively offends everybody, without distinction, will it still be considered racist/sexist/ -ist in any way?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I think HIGH MOON author David Gallaher did something with replacing the n-word with ninjas. He had mentioned it on Twitter here at one point: http://twitter.com/DavidGallaher/status/23085638156812288 – and made the formal announcement of the book with cover art today. It’s just one of those things.

    • Gabriel Diani says:

      Yes, I just heard about that today. Also, Hipster Huck Finn beat us to the punch a little. As did the zombie one which came out a few years ago. We wish them all luck with their projects.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Richard Grayson already did something comparable, over a month ago:
    http://who-will-kiss-the-pig.blogspot.com/2011/01/hipster-huckleberry-finn-now-available.html

  21. Deidzoeb says:

    See also “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim” by Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz. More along the lines of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with actual changes to the story, not just a find-and-replace job.

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