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    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?

    • "cancel culture" is very rarely actually applied to literature. To Kill a Mockingbird is still taught in schools worldwide, let alone the united states. most of the time "cancel culture" is only invoked when celebrities are held accountable for their actions – Bombatwombat 1 year ago
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    • Interesting topic. I believe "cancel culture" is different from the book bans you're referring to that often impact the ability for classic literature to be taught in schools. This is a difference that's definitely worth examining, though! – Sophia 11 months ago
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    • From reams of fairytale retellings, to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, from Meg and Jo to Circe, the literary world bursts with retellings of classic novels. – asmaaphilip 10 months ago
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    • This is a really interesting topic! It’s especially common right now with celebrities on social media. You could definitely tie this topic into the idea of classic literature and it’s importance in school systems for learning purposes. – paytonphillips 9 months ago
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    • I believe emulation of a previous time is fine - when it is done in a fictional capacity that is simply there to create a sense of realism. What ISN'T okay is using language, ideas, or ideologies from "less than modern times" in contemporary times. That is what cancel culture usually targets; actors, actresses, stores, brands etc that continue to adopt racist or otherwise offensive behaviors or language. 'Cancel culture' encouraged the rejection of Nivea products when they - in the modern age - reportedly said that "Nivea doesn't do gay", and J K Rowling has faced the rejection of her fanbase when she came out with derogatory comments about transsexual women. And yes, books may be criticized when they seemingly encourage or unnecessarily include derogatory language or behaviours; but that is different from cancel culture. – TheGrandDuck 9 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    A classic, apparently, though I found myself unable to like it. The article, I think, focuses a lot on how well-constructed the book was, especially in appealing to readers’ emotions, but I thought quite the opposite. I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters, and I sure did not find Henry ‘charming’ in the traditional sense.

    Henry is very much implied to be a clinical sociopath – unable to sympathize with anyone else, remarkably self-centered, charming and witty to others so that they don’t realize that he doesn’t feel emotions at all. In my opinion, Henry was the reason any of this book ever happened, because he knew how to attract people and all of the people he attracted, while wealthy to a certain degree, were not quite as well off as they appeared. The article did mention that Richard was chasing the picturesque, but undoubtedly, the rest of them (except for Bunny) were too.

    I agree with Decypher above as well, in that the professor was undoubtedly the moving force behind the story, even more so than Henry, probably because he inspired Henry. If I recall correctly, it was the professor who first put the idea of killing someone into Henry’s mind, and Henry who decided to act upon it. But I don’t remember enough about the book to say for sure.

    Overall, not as quite a deep or thorough analysis as I was expecting/wanted to read, but an interesting perspective nonetheless.

    The Secret History: A Novel with Staying Power

    Interesting article. While I have seen many posts on social media pointing out various aspects of the capitalism, I’ve never seen any go so in-depth.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Capitalist Dystopia

    Interesting! I agree that the point isn’t whether or not he actually made it back; it’s what could have happened and it no longer matters to Cobb himself whether or not he’s ‘living in reality’ because he chooses to believe ‘this reality’ that he sees.

    Inception: Anticlimactic or Satisfyingly Open-Ended?