'Disney-izing' George Orwell
and Mark Twain?
Diamond Jim

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Diamond Jim"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section : ANIMAL FARM on TNT
Date: Saturday, August 19, 2000 5:30 PM

I have not read or seen Animal Farm but have read Tom Sawyer -- as early as the fourth grade and as recently as earlier this year. It is an easy read, and a good reader should be able to cover it in two or three evenings.

After reading Twain as a child, I went from being tossed around in a neutral, agnostic fog to actually knowing where I stand on religion. Twain enabled me to stop being polite to religion -- at least within the confines of my own mind.

To Disney-ize Tom Sawyer would be to change it entirely, according to the following letter to a librarian, who was complaining that censorship types were trying to remove Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn from the children's section of the library and denouncing Huck's character, affirming that he "warn't no more quality than a mud cat":

21 Fifth Avenue,
November 21, 1905

Dear Sir:

I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for adults exclusively, and it always distresses me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean; I know this by my own experience, and to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again this side of the grave. Ask that young lady -- she will tell you so.

Most honestly do I wish I could say a softening word or two in defence of Huck's character, since you wish it, but really in my opinion it is no better than those of Solomon, David, Satan, and the rest of the sacred brotherhood.

If there is an unexpurgated in the Children's Department, won't you please help that young woman remove Huck and Tom from that questionable companionship?

Sincerely yours,

(Signed) S. L. Clemens

Unfortunately, it would be better to pose this question on a George Orwell forum than on this one.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

Graphic Rule

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