In case you missed this story over the holiday weekend: WordBridge Publishing, a Christian conservative publisher concerned with “the phenomenon of manipulation based in white guilt” has given Joseph Conrad’s The Nigger of Narcissus a thoroughly modern makeover. Their updated version, bizarrely entitled The N-Word of Narcissus, “addresses the reason for its neglect: the profusion of the so-called n-word throughout its pages. Hence, the introduction of ‘n-word’ throughout the text, to remove this offense to modern sensibilities.”
They only have three fans on Facebook.
As Gawker noted, there is an upside to this kind of anachronistic glossing over:
Wouldn’t it be funny if this edition somehow became a must-read, and a generation of right-wing luminaries actually ended up saying “the N-word” in the same breath that they explained why black kids shouldn’t have equal representation in higher education?
Kidding aside, the book was originally published as The Children of the Sea. We have no idea why they didn’t just go with that title. Perhaps they figured Joseph Conrad needed a good roll or two in his grave.
Find the official description from Amazon below. No word yet on when they’re tackling Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but expect more classic text reprints in the future.
Piqued your interest? You can download the e-book version of the original for free here.