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One thing that makes modernity so insufferable is the hubris possessed by those who embrace it. Take, for instance, the way publishers took it upon themselves to censor books because it made “modern audiences” uncomfortable.
If only the “modern audience” was a thing and not just an excuse to push political ideas on people.
(READ: The Lie of the “Modern Audience”)
The U.K. publisher Puffin, for instance, announced that it would be removing words from legendary writer Roald Dahl’s writing which one group considered harmful. The group, known as “Inclusive Minds,” wrote that the stories as they were weren’t inclusive enough because Dahl, a product of his time, used words like “fat” and “ugly” which Puffin agreed had no place in today’s society. As such, Puffin allowed Inclusive Minds to effectively rewrite Dahl’s books so that they were more “acceptable.”
According to CNN, an explanation was put into revised editions of Roald’s books:
“Words matter,” reads a note included on the copyright page of revised editions. “The wonderful words of Roald Dahl can transport you to different worlds and introduce you to the most marvelous characters. This book was written many years ago and so we regularly review the language to ensure that it can continue to be enjoyed by all today.”
The response to this was nothing short of devastating, with many people labeling the move as exactly what it was; censorship. It was scary enough that Puffin decided it would still be releasing what it calls the “classic texts” in an announcement it made on Friday:
“As a children’s publisher, our role is to share the magic of stories with children with the greatest thought and care. Roald Dahl’s fantastic books are often the first stories young children will read independently, and taking care for the imaginations and fast-developing minds of young readers is both a privilege and a responsibility.
“We also recognise the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print. By making both Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, marvellous stories.”
While it’s great that they’re putting the stories back up for purchase as they were intended by the author, it has to be said that this never should have been an option for them in the first place.
As Spencer Klavan tweeted out about the use of the term “classic” to describe the re-release of the books, there is no ‘classic’ version, just books that weren’t vandalized by political activists.
Ah yes, the “classic” versions, as in *the books*, which the author wrote, with the words in them, that he chose.
Idk who at Puffin needs to hear this but *there are no other versions.* You weren’t offering some helpful alternative; you were committing vandalism https://t.co/FwLvvGF6Bx
— Spencer A. Klavan (@SpencerKlavan) February 24, 2023
There’s probably no better way to describe what actually occurred at Puffin.
Imagine if you lent your “Chronicles of Narnia” collection to someone and when you got it back they claimed they improved it by taking out any hint that Aslan was an allegory for Christ. They tell you that they did it because, in today’s modern era, Christ should be kept out of children’s stories. Looking in your books, you find that various passages have been blocked out by a black marker, and handwritten revisions were shoved in above them.
Puffin did exactly this, only with printing machines. They vandalized Dahl’s books and called it moral because their own political blinders stop them from seeing that what they were doing was politically biased censorship.
They should call these original texts what they are; “uncorrupted.”
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