Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
On Cancel Culture
Oftentimes, a book or poem will be criticized for having racial or otherwise derogatory slurs. Most of these books will be from less modern times, when the usage of such slurs were still acceptable. Other times (though much less often), a book will use slurs in order to emulate language used in a particular time period (ex. the n-word for pieces set during the Civil War era). These books may be ‘cancelled’ because it is deemed inappropriate to use slurs during modern times.
However, as mentioned above, it is also common for books that are considered classical literature to be cancelled as well for using slurs. Where does ‘cancel culture’ draw the line when it comes to classical literature? Should classical literature be ‘cancelled’ for liberally using slurs when it was common in that time period? What about pieces meant to specifically emulate language from an olden time period? Is it acceptable to read literature (and specifically, make movies) that use slurs?