• @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    As an FYI, this is a very old thing that people are doing. There’s actually a term for it (beyond just “corporate censorship”). It’s bowdlerization or expurgation. And, on some level, I understand why people of a certain ethos would be opposed to it. Beyond the obvious reactionary agenda of being “anti-woke,” there are concerns here over artistic or authorial autonomy and the fear of a slippery slope in which previous cultural attitudes are historically white washed. And I think it’s good to acknowledge the past honestly. Not to celebrate those old attitudes, of course, but to let it stand as it is, scars and all, as a cultural artifact of a very different time. Editing the content of the original work to hide what is and was reduces it from that status of cultural artifact to just pure entertainment. That said, content warning wouldn’t really rob much from the book, unless you believe every book should be a complete and total surprise to the reader. I can’t comment too much on the beliefs of the author of this article, but their opposition to much of what they’re complaining about comes more from a place of “the woke mob is ruining books” rather than anything I would say is a more complete or salient examination of how we collectively relate to the art of the past.

    • @floofloofOP
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      12 months ago

      Since there’s a case to be made either way, it would be nice if the publishers could offer two editions and let the reader choose. This might be too expensive in the case of printed books, but for e-books it seems like it should be feasible.

      • @[email protected]
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        32 months ago

        Sure. These things are products to be purchased, after all. Regardless of how you feel about the content of the books themselves, I’d be extraordinarily annoyed if a company could just edit on a whim the content I had paid for and expected to have in perpetuity. That said, you should never realistically buy anything from an online publisher that doesn’t let you save a static text copy of the book as a PDF or other file offline. More generally, if you want to buy a book, the best thing to do is to buy from a used bookstore, if you’re able. Not like Amazon needs any more money.

  • Vodulas [they/them]
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    42 months ago

    Weird that the author complains about adding a trigger warning. That seems like a good idea rather than just changing the book.

  • @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    I don’t buy the controversy; editing old racist, sexist books to be palatable is a great way for publishers to try to sell books that would otherwise be unacceptable in today’s market.

    I’m sure as shit not reading unedited Dahl books to my kiddos. tbh, I’m unlikely to read the edited ones to them, either, since there are so many better books to choose from, but the edits at least make the books a possibility.

    Libraries will still have the original texts. Digital dark libraries have all the originals, too. It’s not like we’re losing our cultural heritage here. Historians and scholars can still study the originals, and anyone with interest can find unedited versions, too. But the edited “woke” versions have at least some of the prejudice edited out. Anything that makes society more tolerant and accepting is a win.

    Sure, release notes would be nice. They wouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t even know that the Bond and Dahl books might not be terrible anymore without release notes, if not for the “controversy”. So, disregarding all the author’s reasons, I still support that release notes would be a nice addition.