This is just too hilarious not to share. Since it involves completely messing up changing Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” it’s quite pertinent to Edudemic. In fact, the text towards the bottom of this page details exactly WHY robots should be incorporated into the book rather than, say, vampires. (Hint: robots were subjugated too!)
Jumping onto the changing-classic-text-with-wacky-new-additions bandwagon, a couple ambitious and quite humorous people are taking it upon themselves to raise money (quite a bit already!) to create a book that replaces the N-word in Huck Finn with the word Robot. In other words, changing N-word Jim to Robot Jim.
View the Kickstarter page here. From the page:
We’re editing a new version of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that won’t be bogged down with what Mark Twain was trying to say about racism.
Famous writer Ernest Hemingway once hailed “Huck Finn” as being “the best book we’ve ever had.” We agree with him-even if he did drink too much.
But this classic novel has been banned from many schools and libraries ever since its first publication, originally because it portrayed the African American character Jim as being human and now because of the book’s use of the word “n-word” over two hundred times.
Publisher NewSouth Books is attempting to get the book back on library shelves and in classrooms by publishing a new version that removes the controversial word “n-word” and replaces it with the word “slave.”
Critics are calling this “censorship” and “whitewashing of history.” We call it “not far enough.”
Robots instead of N-bombs: Statistically, people prefer robots to the word “n-word.” The word “n-word” is ugly and pejorative. Robots are fun and cool…even when they’re trying to take over our world! So we’ve decided to take the word “n-word” out of Mark Twain’s classic and replace it with “robot.”
Why robots? Well, there’s no denying it: robots are “in” right now. The film “Transformers” made over $708 million around the world. The film “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” made over $800 million dollars. The last film version of Huckleberry Finn only brought in $24 million dollars. Even accounting for inflation (which we frankly don’t know how to do), it’s clear that robots are more popular than Huckleberry Finn.
And that’s a MOVIE, not a book.
But why not vampires? They’re “in” too, aren’t they? Good point, hypothetical question asker. Vampires are “in.” But replacing the word “n-word” with vampire would be silly. Robots have a long history in literature and popular culture of being used as a metaphor for slavery and oppression. Replacing the black characters with robots in the book will maintain the integrity of MOST of Mark Twain’s themes. It will also make the book more attractive to racists who wouldn’t ordinarily read a book sympathetic to the plight of African Americans in the Antebellum South. And this is really about getting more people to read the book.
We’re raising money for a short print run of the book. The more money we raise, the cooler the book will be. We have an artist altering some of the illustrations from the original edition of the book to replace Jim with “Robot Jim.” We’d like to do all of the illustrations but that is a huge task and adds to the page count making the book more expensive. We would also love to get a Twain or Black History Scholar to write a little something about the use of the word “n-word” in the book to lend us some credibility. This also increases the page count. We’d also prefer to hire a designer to design the book cover and/or the interior layout of the text instead of pre-made templates. Who knows? If we raise enough money, maybe we can do a hardcover editionÉor one where the text is inlaid in platinum on dinosaur bones!
Incentives! In addition to owning your own pdf or physical copy of the book, it’s also possible to get these wonderful items!
That’s right! Own your own Robot Jim! Set him free or put him on your shelf!
Designed by www.dayoftherobot.com artist Chad Meserve, Robot Jim is a 4 ½ inch tall mixed media sculpture made from plaster and wire. This will be a numbered, limited edition for this project only. Fulfillment time to be determined based on demand!
Robot is made of sterling silver wire and measures about 1 1/4 inch (3 1/2 cm) long by 1/2 inch (1 1/2 cm) tall. It hangs from 16 inches of sterling silver chain and is brought together by two genuine pearls and a sterling silver lobster clasp.
If you would like your Robot necklace to be vegan the pearls can easily be replaced with sterling beads.
Made by Underoak Studios (www.underoakstudios.etsy.com). Own it!
Artist Denise Devine is altering E.W. Kemble’s original illustrations from the first edition of the book to remove Jim and replace him with Robot Jim! Above is a sketch. More work is being done to match the original but we think it’s pretty fantastic already!
Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter.”
We couldn’t agree more. And that right word is “robot.”
Thanks for your time and consideration. We hope you’ll help us take this classic piece of American Literature and change it to suit our own ends.
Project location: Los Angeles, CA