Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear Oprah, Oh Mark Twain

Signature of American television personality, ...Image via Wikipedia
Dear Oprah,

I am unable to sleep off this cold, so I thought I would take this opportunity of repose to write to you, and keep you updated on my small world.

I'd also love to set up a time to chat about this Mark Twain business. When is good for you? I don't want to get you sick, so I was thinking sometime next week?

You'll notice that I added the Twitter gadget to my blog. I do feel a little silly, yes, but it's all in the name of connecting to as many people as I can! I'm still trying to get the hang of it.

I had my first podcast interview with my friend Katie Davis on Monday. It should be available after 6pm tonight. I got a HUGE surprise that I thought you would get a kick out of. What is it? Well, Rocco Staino from the Empire State Book Festival called in to let me know that my Gran, Madeleine L'Engle, will be inducted into the Empire State Hall of Fame on April first! Not only that, but he asked if I would be willing to accept on her behalf, and then participate in the Book Festival the following day to promote Edges! I am so excited!

Maybe we should talk about the Mark Twain affair right now, seeing as I've brought up my Gran, who was very much against censorship of any kind and would bah humbug the notion of changing a book published over 100 years ago in the name of political correctness, because then it would not be the book that Twain wrote. The "n" word is being censored, and replaced with a more palatable word. The UK Guardian posted an excellent editorial here. As Twain himself said: "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

However, I understand how painful "words" can be, don't you? Can't we have a teaching moment here? My kids haven't read it yet, but I plan on reading it to them, (as our middle child is named after Huckleberry Finn) and having a very nuanced discussion.

A country in Northern Europe was translating A Wrinkle in Time, and asked my grandmother if they could delete a section of the book! Remember the scene with Mrs. Whatsit, where the kids are asking who their "fighters", their "lights" in the world could be? And they come up with Buddha, and Einstein and Michelangelo as well as Jesus? This publisher wanted to censor everything but Jesus! You know what my Gran said, don't you? Absolutely not!
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Ha! Trudging through some web design coding stuff today and came up for air to read a few blogs. This cracked me up. And so did your Twitter comment about being followed. And I so agree with you about the Mark Twain thing. Sheesh, why do we have to go about covering over everything. Yes, can't we just have a teachable moment?

    Oh well, thanks for the chuckle today!

  2. Thanks Dianne! Web design coding, huh? I'm intrigued . . . I finished another draft and gave it to my critique partner, ahem, husband, so I've been lollygagging on the internet . . . glad you heard me out there!

  3. I'm horrified by the censorship. Of course it's a terrible word, but it's a terrible word that WE USED TO SAY. The past is what it is and I plan on reading it to my son and having the exact same conversation we had after he watched Blazing Saddles. "It used to be a common word. It mean something terrible. You should never, ever, use it because you know better."

    I heard they're replacing it with "slave" because hey, having slaves is totally not offensive. *sigh*

    People are silly.

  4. Congrats on the Empire State deal! Woohoo!

    I hadn't heard about the censorship deal. Good grief...


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.