Theo Downes-Le Guin, son and executor of Ursula K. LeGuinhas published an article in ‘Literary Hub’ where he justifies the deletion of some words from children’s works of his mother, as was done recently with ‘Matilda’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming’s novels starring James Bond and, a few years ago, those of ‘The Five’ of Enid Blyton. Well, who knows how many more books, one does not get to know everything!
Le Guin’s son says he received a note from the publisher, who was preparing to reprint the novels, as follows: “I am writing to propose several minor changes to the language and to remove words that now have a different connotation than they did when the books were originally published”. The words were ‘lame’ (lame), ‘queer’ (weird), ‘dumb’ (silly) and ‘stupid’ (stupid). The businessman asked the heir for permission, and he granted it. Pasta issues I guess.
Let’s see. First misses the publisher lie to delete the words. Of those eliminated, the only one that today has a different connotation is ‘queer’, which is no longer understood as “weird”, but rather gives its name to a theory of the genre and to the urban tribe that is guided by it. In other words, Just as lame, dumb and stupid are the lame, dumb and stupid characters in a novel published today as in 1970, 1834 or 1616.
No, those terms are not connoted in another way, nor are they more difficult to understand, but rather they are under house arrest by agents determined to separate children from reality during their formation, and then to treat adults as children who They can’t swear. it gives me that they are able to tell a child who has lost his leg that he actually has it, but it is only seen with the eyes of the heart.
On the other hand, it is curious that the editor of Le Guin, and many others, have forgotten that old tool, the asterisk and the footnote, who was always able to explain foreign cultural contexts or strange uses of words to any reader. The option to delete or replace had always been there, in fact, but a good editor found the explanation more enriching. Today they are terrified of explaining, but they are even more afraid of having to explain themselves if any undocumented immigrant complains to them because they have read who knows what. Anyway!