Friday, March 9, 2012

Huckleberry Finn

Almost done! The last stretch is pretty dull. Of necessity you get sort of inured to the word "nigger," because unless you're a Republican it's usually not possible to spend many hours in a row feeling shocked and appalled. Nonetheless, even through my adjustments, Twain manages to startle me:
"It warn't the grounding--that didn't keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head."
"Good gracious! Anybody hurt?"
"No'm. Killed a nigger."
I had a solidly liberal Northeastern upbringing, and I get loudly cranky when anyone refers to the "4,408 casualties" of the Iraq War, because of course it's the American soldiers who matter, and not the hundreds of thousands of dead brown people. I can't stomach that we place such value on our fellow citizens, and don't feel a need to at least mention the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians. And I will let you know, at length, how disgraceful I think that is.

So, yeah. That's one way to get my attention.

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