Classic Lit

Via the ever amusing Bookslut, here’s an interesting article about the booming sales at Barnes & Noble for their line of simplified classics, using simpler words and sentence structures.

I love Ms. Crispin’s remarks about this booming trend: “Wouldn’t you love to have that job? ‘So, what do you do for a living?’ ‘I dumb down the world’s classic literature for the young and the stupid.'”

I am all for making the classics available, but at what point does all this tinkering manifestly change The Adventures of Tom Sawyer into something else? I find this troubling. Our cultural history is already under siege from the rapacious vacuity of television, must literature be watered down as well?

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