In this ever-changing world we’re living in, we never know what is about to be announced and rock us to our cores. Nothing is the same as it once was and everything seems to change so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on. Then of course the clash of every side wanting their views to win will always be there. This means there are always going to be sides to take and be against. The latest trend: classic books being rewritten to appease more sensitive readers.
Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond novels that have been turned into blockbuster hits on screen. The novels and the movies were set in several different decades and in different countries, meaning there are a lot of different cultures being represented, even if not in the best way. And it is because of this that all of the novels are being rewritten.
They are not being rewritten entirely and stripped of all their content, however. There will be trigger warnings at the beginning about sensitive content, some words and phrases that are going to be omitted or changed, and other changes that will make sensitive readers feel more comfortable reading. So, when you go buy one of these books, you have a choice: buy the original or the sensitive readers’ version. Obviously, this is being met with praise and opposition.
Opposition Is Strong
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. has this to say about these upcoming releases:
“This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set. The changes have led racist language to be removed throughout the novels.“Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
The world is constantly changing. Change and growth are part of that and are necessary. Some don’t agree with that, and some do. Will these changes only be as minimal as they sound? Seems unlikely. Once the freedom to make changes is there, it’s easy to go overboard and just start dismantling the entire thing. Many argue that this is what these sensitive readers’ are doing to novels and are not respecting the original work itself. On the other hand, some language and subject matter can be very upsetting for some people.
There has to be some kind of compromise here when it comes to rewriting books, classic ones at that. Ian Fleming is not the only author this has happened to, Rolad Dahl has also been stripped down and rewritten for sensitive readers also. Taking out sensitive words is fine. But taking out critical pieces of literature that are part of the story itself, is going too far. Somewhere in all of this, as sensitive as it is, is a good compromise that everyone could be happy with. What this will be, remains a mystery.
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