Saturday, May 08, 2010

Void Where Prohibited.

Unintentional funny: A publisher sticks a bit o' warning boilerplate by way of a frontispiece into older books that may not "reflect the same values" as they would if they "were written today."

Among those books? A reprint of The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation.

Alert the irony police.

(cf. The Matchlock Gun, Newbery winner for 1942.)


reflectoscope said...

I don't know whether to laugh or weep.


LabRat said...

Kind of reminds me of the forward to The Egg and I by Betty Macdonald's grandkids explaining how their grandmother would never have said such nasty things about Indians if she had any idea of the historical plight of the Native Americans.

The book itself makes her feelings on the specific Native American culture neighboring hers pretty fucking clear, plight or no plight. She wasn't much kinder to the pale-skinned ones either.

Nancy R. said...

That’s it. I’m done for the day. I can not begin to wrap my head around the obsequiousness of that boilerplate language. I’m off to bed with (since my copy of “The Matchlock Gun” that I ordered earlier this week isn’t here yet) either “The Wind in the Willows” or “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)”. Oh, better yet, since it’s Zombie Awareness Month, I think I’ll finish "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls".

Sarah said...

I would have thought that anyone truly interested in reading things like the Declaration of Independence would figure out for him/herself, without a boilerplate warning, that times have indeed changed.

Anonymous said...

I "loved" the author's (read "the publisher made me do this) note in a young adult fantasy novel. The characters lived in a setting very much like Hamburg during the peak of the Hanseatic League and were fur merchants. The author explained that this was not meant to upset readers, but was because the people did not have the technology to wear more modern, animal friendly synthetics, and please do not take offense. Sheesh!


Don Meaker said...

I loved "The Matchlock Gun" where Dad went off to militia service with the modern flintlock and the family is defended at the door of their home by mother and son and with an obsolete matchlock cannon.

Robert said...

Too true. If you're looking for works by Joseph Conrad on, you will come across "The N-word of the Narcissus". I kid you not.

Don't forget that other great Conrad novel, "Heart of Dim Light".

I suppose it's better than book-burning.