I've always said that I should make a tumblr for my students to access links/photos/ideas/articles that I discover online and that are relevant to their class. I teach grammar, literature, and 1st year writing classes.
The title of this tumblr is a quote from Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot.
Thank you to Aja for sharing this with the class via our presentations. Though we’ve read two other books since Huck Finn, what we learned from Twain should still be fresh in our minds for our final. This is a great video illustrating the debate over the “N-word” within the novel.
This is an interesting account of a professor and her students. She is a black professor with all white students, and this is a journal-like essay that discusses her experience with, as the title says, “Teaching the N-Word”. This is relevant both to my Temple FYW class as well as my Rowan Experiencing Literature class— we are each beginning to read a novel that includes this word many times. Huck Finn and Kindred.
Everyone at Cherry Hill agrees that the controversy brought their community together. The strengthened relationship between the minority community and the schools is “one of the best things that came out of this,” says the same parent who worried at first that there would be a “firestorm.”
This is an article from 2003 about racism and Huck Finn. The people whom is article is about argue that the use of the “n-word” in Twain’s classic make it inappropriate for a high school classroom. Since many of us came to the conclusion that the book should be left as is and also in the curriculum during our first conversation in class, I am curious how we might react to this article. Do we think that the individuals that are featured in this article have a point? What of the other side of this debate, that no matter what, the word is offensive?
Richard Grayson, a Brooklyn writer and editor, has gone above and beyond angry or satirical tweets in response to Publishers Weekly’s announcement that they would release version of Huckleberry Finn(and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) without the word “nigger.” He’s released a whole new version of the book, entitled The Hipster Huckleberry Finn, which replaces every instance of the offending word with “hipster.” Seriously.
This project got an overwhelming amount of funding. At first I chuckled, thinking this was an article from The Onion, but when I clicked the link I realized it was a project. It’s been successfully funded, and I’m not sure if it’s been printed/distributed yet, but it’s interesting. The comments that explain the project border on hilarious as well.
This was news at the end of last/beginning of this year. A publishing house edited Twain’s fiction to remove its racial epithets, and controversy ensued. This NPR interview with the editor of the volume that started the controversy is insightful and worth a listen.
As I was (re)reading Huck Finn for Wednesday, I noticed in Chapter One some of the language he used about being lonesome was very similar to the lyrics of the classic Hank Williams song, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. Twain even mentions whippoorwills a line or two down the familiar language, and I thought, “Hank MUST have been inspired by this passage!” Check out the lines on page 16 of the Norton Critical edition of Huck Finn, about a little less than halfway down the page, and then listen to the excellent, though sad, famous Hank Williams song.
There’s a good comprehensive selection of information on and about Twain’s Huck Finn at this site. In case anyone is writing their paper on the novel we’ll be reading in EL or in case anyone is interested, check the site out.
Especially if you don’t have the copy that I specified in our syllabus, you should look at the site because they have the illustrations that were featured in the original text— they’re classic. If you click on “Illustrations” and then click on the link “Gallery of Illustrations”, they’re listed by chapter there.