Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Agatha Christie will offend you...

From the days of political incorrectness (you know, the days when racism was something popular to practice), I've got something to share. However, I'm going to have to type a word that I can't say. A word that I hate because of all the crap associated with it. It's a word that no white man or woman has any business saying. Give me a second and just don't be offended by reading the word because, quite frankly, I'm just quoting someone else.
Who am I going to quote?

None other than Agatha Christie.

A LOT of you have probably seen a movie version, play, or even read the story entitled "And Then There Were None," more commonly known as "Ten Little Indians." I think I read the story when I was on that "Hardy Boys Mystery" phase somewhere around the 4th grade....a lot of people did. I saw a production of it years later on stage in Jacksonville...and saw a movie version directed by George Pollock. Point is, it's one of the most common, popular, and well-recognized works by dear sweet Agatha.
But the title "Ten Little Indians" was NOT the original title. When Agatha Christie wrote the book in 1939, she originally called it (deep breath):

"Ten Little Niggers"

O_O
Sweet mother of Christ. I wanted to think that was just what she submitted the story as and her editors quickly changed it to not be completely awful....but no. Not only did they publish the story "Ten Little Niggers" with multiple editions, they even illustrated the book covers. The first one isn't so bad (relatively speaking):
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Upon closer inspection, I think I see two people with spears and one....is that a watermelon that one is eating? Also pay no mind to the giant WHITE hand. Gah.
Here's the "more offensive one", if you can believe that:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
While the bloody iguana is more than a little distracting, it really can't help you NOT notice the guy lynched on the book's cover. Man.
Why, Agatha, why?
It's so weird to find out that one of your favorite books as a kid was originally something like....THIS. :sigh:
-jared
Update, September 11th: The love of my life was playing around with my Blogger account and MAY have accidentally suppressed this post by saving it as draft. She doesn't remember how she saved it after editing....that's what I get for leaving my Blogger account open when I leave the computer. If, for some reason, reporting such stuff like this is against Blogger's policies and it was OFFICIALLY supressed then I'm really sorry for putting it back up. Since I didn't get an email telling me not to point out Agatha using the N word, I can only assume the mistake was on my end.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Seph said...

Dude. Really. Don't be so dramatic. It was an inappropriate title for Christie's book. It was a poor choice. Agatha Christie may very well have been racist. So what? Nobody ever said she was a fucking saint. Gandhi was racist, too. You think I'm fucking kidding? Gandhi - the Mahatma - hated the fucking "niggers", and the term he called them by was more inflammatory then than the 'n'-word is now. That doesn't invalidate what Gandhi did, either.

It's merely a word, innocent unto itself; and by making such a big fucking deal about it and getting so creeped out at its every utterance, all you do is serve to ensure that the breach that word created will never be bridged.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

To be fair, I really think that my being creeped out by hearing the dread "N word" has everything to do with how I grew up. And saying it's just a word, while true, isn't quite right either. Any word is special when you know it guarantees you getting STABBED in your home town if you were to say it out loud. Did I mention I grew up in the South?

As for being dramatic...I think I'm being less theatrical than surprised...I mean, can you imagine if you found out the Hardy Boys had a mystery called "Curse of the Jade Slant-Eyes" or "Vault of the Greedy Jew?" Wouldn't you feel your childhood was at least slightly tainted?
-jared

5:18 AM  
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2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seph is trolling but you both have points. It's racism. The racist cunt is dead. It is offensive, but it is just a stupid word. Most people see it this way. It's only truly offensive when you're using it on your own. Referencing someone else's racism and pointing it out as such is simply that. Referencing.

I don't think you're out of line for being disturbed by it, but I think there is some level of false benevolence to be found, whenever someone attempts to champion a campaign against its use.. especially when they themselves, are not dark skinned.

In this age, where so many of us are descended from multiple points around the world (I am german, english, irish, black and inuit.. how's that for a mix, Agatha Christie!?)

12:44 PM  

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