DANVILLE — “If I’d a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn’t a tackled it.” These famous words from the unforgettable character, Huck at the end of Mark Twain’s classic “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are as true today as they were when first published in America in 1885.
Libraries and schools banned “Huck Finn” most commonly for being crude and for bad grammar. However, the controversies surrounding this book today deal with the use of the “n-word” and the issue of racism. A new edition of this seminal work has just been published which removed the “n-word” and replaces it with the word “slave” so as to be more acceptable especially in high school literature classes.
Is the novel racist? Should the book be censored? Should it be taught in schools? Why is Mark Twin (Samuel Clemens) considered the greatest American writer as Ernest Hemingway insisted? These and many more questions will be debated at the Danville library’s adult book discussion on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Cafe 505 on S. Market St., Danville.
Leading the discussion will be Sean Smith, a library patron and avid reader; Rose Sebouhian, retired teacher who taught the novel in high school; and Dr. George Sebouhian, emeritus professor of American literature at State University of New York-Fredonia.
This program is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Copies of the novel are available at the Danville Public Library. High school students and teachers are especially welcome to add their perspective to the discussion.
Published on March 15, 2011