Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Huckleberry Finn: Aktuelle Zensur eines Klassikers?
Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch, Vol. 60 (2019), Iss. 1 : pp. 299–315
Angelika Zirker, Tübingen
Mark Twain’s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, first published in England in 1884 and a year later in the US, is paradoxical in that it is one of most frequently censored books of world literature – and, concurrently, one of the most frequently read and praised.
The following article will try to explain this paradox and, in a first step, address the history of the novel’s censorship and the (various) reasons given for it. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has undergone censorship since its first publication, and even today it is included in the list of »Banned and Challenged Books« of ALA (American Library Association). What are, in fact, reasons for banning the book? And how are these reasons questioned by defenders of the book? Which strategies are used? Since the novel’s publication, those who have completely dismissed the book and those who have appreciated it as a »masterpiece« have opposed each other. An overview of these controversies will result in a close reading of one of the most debated chapters in the novel, with a focus on the autodiegetic narrator Huck, who has been characterized as a naïve child that simply does not know any better, as a »fallible narrator«, or as a liar. But it remains doubtful whether the narrator’s weakness is the answer to the question of Huck’s alleged racism. The paper will offer alternative roads into the novel that consider both the text and the context of its origin.
Table of Contents
|Angelika Zirker: Huckleberry Finn: Aktuelle Zensur eines Klassikers?||1|
|I. (Kurze) Geschichte einer Zensur: Begründungen und Verteidigungsstrategien||2|
|II. Huckleberry Finns Gewissen und Entscheidungsfindung: Close Reading von Kapitel||9|
|III. Schlussbemerkung zum (Roman)Schluss: Ironie, Rassismus, demokratische Vision?||1|