I've been thinking about the latest nonsense about changing the wording in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
In our sanitized, lest- we- offend world the idea is to take the word nigger which was in common use in Mark Twain's time and change it to slave.
The words do not mean the same thing.
They may have been virtually interchangeable at one time, but they are not now nor have they ever been literally interchangeable. If Twain had meant slave I am confident that's the word he'd have chosen.
He didn't and it is not anyone's place to make it seem he did. It is not okay to change a word we don't like in a written work.
It dulls the point.
Rather than rail about it I decided to say it with pictures.
One the left we have a perfectly fine photo. To the right is the picture changed to sepia tone. It loses its flavour. It tells the same story, but in a bland and boring way. The photo has no point.
Below it is another view. It's closer up, head on, the colours stand out more. It is more interesting.
I took it through a window. It has a reflection.
Good literature is a reflection of its time. It should be head on and in full colour, not bland and monotone.
Last week at the bookstore I hit a rich vein of luck. I bought a few children's books that I'd studiously ignored as a child and then found all the novels and stories featuring Sherlock Holmes.
My TBR pile now includes, but is not restricted to, Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.
I was more than a little flummoxed to find both Uncle Tom's Cabin and Dracula in the children's section, but what the hey. I'd have read them as a child if I could have found them.
I've read several Sherlock Holmes stories, but finding Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novels and Stories Volume l and ll for a ridiculously good price was a gift from the reading gods that I had more sense than to ignore.
From A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (Bantam Classics, 2003)
"'If a herd of buffaloes had passed along, there could not be a greater mess. No doubt, however, you had drawn your own conclusions, Gregson, before you permitted this.' "
A wee bit from Saintree:
She licked her lips and bared her teeth. A low growl escaped her throat.
Thanks for being here. For more or to get in on the fun please see the Women of Mystery
Well, I've gotten some done in the New Year. I'd like to say I devoted the off time to thinking about my assorted WIPs, but I have no intention of starting the new year off with a lie.
In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to say I'd done any grand thinking. Most of my time my mind has been occupied with finding new and exciting things to do with leftovers.
Shrimp, 'shroom, pineapple, pepper.
Ham, pineapple, pepper
We were blessed by a huge can of roasted red peppers. We opened it well over a week ago and I've put my creative mind to finding ways to use them up, and to sorting out a good pizza crust recipe. The writing is a pale second to this, but I'm okay with that for now.
Currently I'm reading Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin, PH.D. (Bantam New Age, Revised Edition, 1982).
Here's a bit:
"What is the quality of this unclear felt sense? Let a word, a phrase, or an image come up from the felt sense itself."
Here's something from Saintree:
"A few beads of moisture decorated Jemima's upper lip. Eury stared, desperate to reach over and lick them away."
Thank you. For more or to get in on the fun please see the Women of Mystery.
Our New Year's Day drive was pleasant though we saw little in the way of wildlife.
At Twin Lakes we were blessed to find this fine fellow busy with a spruce cone. He, or maybe she, was so enraptured by the cone that we could get quite close.
I'm grateful for this, and for the reminder it brings.
I hope the New Year brings you all the spruce cones you need, and something that captures your fancy.