And you thought the edited Huckleberry Finn was a trip...

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Summary: Beating NewSouth's un-n-worded Huck Finn by a year, WordBridge's N-Word of the Narcissus goes so far to put the edit in the title. However, is this a joke?

BLOT: (12 Jan 2011 - 12:24:15 AM)

And you thought the edited Huckleberry Finn was a trip...

When I turned a mostly ambivalent shrug towards's NewSouth's removal of the n-word from Huck Finn, and replacing it with "slave", I did not point out that it could be worse because they could have replaced it with, literally, "n-word". Turns out a publisher called WordBridge has done just that with Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus. Except, now, it is called...

And it looks like they have literally inserted "n-word" to edit the text. I'm not 100% sure this isn't some sort of weird joke or performance art, though, because the book's description seems to be some sort of odd manipulation of the plot and reasoning to make the "n-word" in question out to be much worse than he is...

WordBridge Publishing has performed a public service in putting Joseph Conrad's neglected classic into a form accessible to modern readers. This new version addresses the reason for its neglect: the profusion of the so-called n-word throughout its pages. Hence, the introduction of "n-word" throughout the text, to remove this offence to modern sensibilities. The N-word of the Narcissus tells the tale of a fateful voyage of a British sailing ship, and on that voyage the ability of a lone black man to take the crew hostage. The ability of this man to manipulate an entire ship's crew can no longer be seen as a mere exercise in storytelling. Conrad in fact appears to have been the first to highlight the phenomenon of manipulation based in white guilt.

Well, there you go. Joke or no? I have no idea. Most of the other books by the press are by or co-authored by one man, Ruben Alvrado, and are much like this one: Common Law & Natural Rights. Doesn't sound like the kind of thing that a "joke" or "performance art" piece would be attached to, so I'm guessing it is earnest. Maybe.

LABEL(s): Book Publishing


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