Posts Tagged ‘novel’

I find it absolutely fascinating that a single word can cause so much anger and controversy. Such is the tale of Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” novel. One of the most popular works of fiction has been continually barred, banned, and censored from public schools because of the prevalent use of a single word: Nigger/Nigga. The word, as defined by Miriam-Webster dictionary means: usually offensive: a black person or member of any dark-skinned race. This word is actually long-derived from the Latin word niger, which means ‘black’.

So what’s the big deal with the use a word that simply means black? Well, connotation is everything. In the “Slave South” when many people owned black slaves, people would refer to them as niggers; Nigger=black=slave. So through the lines of language evolution, the word came to be considered a racial slur, an offensive to anyone of dark skin. Now the word can hardly be spoken without repulsion or reprehension. Such is the way of our language; words come and go, definitions alter and change, connotations are molded to fit modern culture.

So where am I going with all this? Well back to Huck Finn, since the book has constantly been banned from public schools due to the use of that word, Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books have finally taken it upon themselves to release a ‘censored’ version of the classic. The ‘revised’ version will replace the offensive ‘n’ word with ‘slave’. Releasing ‘revised’ versions of classics for new/younger generations is nothing new and if this will help get classics like Huck Finn into schools, I’m all for it. On the other hand, degrading classic literature just to fit our ‘modern’ molds seems a little ridiculous. Why do we need to change everything to our modern way of thinking? Can’t we just accept the fact that something was written in a different time and different place and therefore will be different from our modern philosophy/culture?

Anyway, thus concludes what might possibly be the longest article I’ve written:) If you agree or disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments.

*Update* Thanks to Rosa Sow of Newsy.com for pointing this out this excellent video on their site:

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Greetings, I am proud to announce the official launch of my custom t-shirt store Verbositees! Are you tired of wearing boring old t-shirts? Do want to make a statement to the world without looking like a wall of graffiti? Then check out Verbositees! Plain simple shirts with quips, quotes, and other useless babble. Plus, you can support your favorite independent person/producer by purchasing a matching shirt!

Also, for any authors out there, I have a special section of QR novel-Tees. Have the text from your book made into a QR code that links to your website or where to purchase your book.

Check it out www.Verbositees.com to start wearing the talk.

 

If you are interested in having a custom shirt made for your site/blog/podcast/book/etc contact me at JoshuaCaleb(at)Verbositees(dot)com

Amazon has announced yet another form of ebook for reader consumption: the Kindle Singles. These are to be shorter works, generally of 1ok to 30k words. In other words, bigger than a blog post but smaller than novel, almost like a novella. They say this will encourage authors to write intelligent works of “natural length” and not be forced to condense or artificially lengthen their ideas to meet marketing demands.

Amazon has put the call out to “serious” authors, scientists, politicians, business leaders, historians, and publishers for pieces. The interesting thing here is that they are reaching out to writers directly, completely bypassing publishers. This is likely due to the fact that this is a somewhat new format (for ebooks and this era) and may not be covered in author-publisher contracts so Amazon doesn’t have to deal with the curmudgeon-y publishers and their old-school thinking. A very smart move and likely highly profitable for both Amazon and the writers. Interested parties are to contact digital-publications@amazon.com

The possibilities of this format are nearly endless, from bringing the revival of the serialized novel, to political manifestos and scientific essays to the masses.

As for price, nothing has been set, but Amazon did mention that the price will be “much less than that of an ebook” .

I personally think this is a great move on Amazon’s part, it really opens up the field for writers and other “thinkers” to publish content quickly and easily. I’m especially intrigued by the serialized novel aspect and could see myself participating in that segment.

So what do you think? Is this completely and utterly boring or the revival of a dead format you’ve been waiting for? Sound off in the comments.

Just a quick update on the status of the Warped & Wired sequel. I’m currently about halfway done with the second draft. After that it should just need some polish and trimming before publication:D I’m trying to work extra hard to get it out by/before the end of the year, so here’s hoping everything goes according to plan:) I should be able to post a few sample chapters in the near future to whet your appetite for the exciting adventure to come.
In the meantime, be sure to read the first book in the series, Warped & Wired or explore this site and learn all about the exciting world within my novels.