James Bond books edited to remove racist references

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  • Posts: 12,264
    @Revelator has done a fantastic job responding to all this, providing more depth than I could have. The impassioned backlash from the fans will hopefully mean something in the long run. Whatever the publishers or media decide to do in their censorship quests, I doubt they'll be successful in any full removal of past art.
  • The superior way would be to publish ANNOTATED editions of Fleming’s original texts… with notes addressing not only the archaic racial terms, but also mundane things that many people in the 21st century might be puzzled by. (“M.G.B? What’s that? Isn’t it supposed to be K.G.B.?”

    “Tannoy? What’s a tannoy?”)
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 615
    Another thought: What’s going to happen to George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels?

    Flashman isn’t a hero like Bond, of course — he’s a jerk, bastard, weasel, coward, liar, rapist, etc. (who’d be very vocal against “wokeness” if he were a real person today) but the N-word — “wog” as well — is used literally hundreds of times in the series.

    They’ll probably just go out of print, never to return.
  • Posts: 2,895
    CraterGuns wrote: »
    The superior way would be to publish ANNOTATED editions of Fleming’s original texts… with notes addressing not only the archaic racial terms, but also mundane things that many people in the 21st century might be puzzled by. (“M.G.B? What’s that? Isn’t it supposed to be K.G.B.?” “Tannoy? What’s a tannoy?”)

    You're absolutely correct. Instead of shoving the dodgy material under the carpet, contextualize it. Would it have taken much more time than combing through the books for things to censor? It's high time there were official annotated editions of the Bond novels. That would have been a proper 70th anniversary gift to the fans.
    CraterGuns wrote: »
    Another thought: What’s going to happen to George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels?...They’ll probably just go out of print, never to return.

    If the Flashman books were tied into an ongoing blockbuster franchise I'm guessing they would have undergone the same surgery as Fleming's. Have to protect the brand! Otherwise they'll have to sell a fainting couch with each book.
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 3,279
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,976
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    What about book banning?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ron-desantis-book-bans-florida-b2270116.html
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 3,279
    echo wrote: »
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    What about book banning?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ron-desantis-book-bans-florida-b2270116.html

    Utterly pathetic!

    These are the same kind of morons who burned their Beatles records in the 1960's because Lennon said something negative about religion.

    I'm hoping we are seeing the signs of a fightback here, that people are no longer going to be silenced by these few woke warriors who think they speak for the majority.

    The pendulum has swung too far one way, and now there appears to be a sensible resistance and the pendulum is slowly being recorrected back again. Hopefully in the end sanity prevails and the few woke nutjobs out there end up in a padded cell in straight jackets to prevent them from doing any more harm to the planet.
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 784
    The biggest sadness is that new comedy is censored to the point of the genre’s nonexistence, and that talent alone makes you a target.

    I couldn’t care less about the destruction of statues depicting genocidal maniacs or all the other trivial things conservatives are rampantly offended by.

    There is nuance to every issue just like there should be to the woke/antiwoke debate.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 534
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    Amazing, I completely disagree with everything you just said. But in IFP's case I think it's just a cynical attempt to maintain profitability while they still hold the rights. I'm in full agreement with Lycett on this, I don't think the books should be censored, and as the Warner Brothers' disclaimer says, 'To do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.' I just hate how this becomes part of a 'culture war' and a stick to beat minorities.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited February 2023 Posts: 3,390
    echo wrote: »
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    What about book banning?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ron-desantis-book-bans-florida-b2270116.html

    Utterly pathetic!

    These are the same kind of morons who burned their Beatles records in the 1960's because Lennon said something negative about religion.

    I'm hoping we are seeing the signs of a fightback here, that people are no longer going to be silenced by these few woke warriors who think they speak for the majority.

    The pendulum has swung too far one way, and now there appears to be a sensible resistance and the pendulum is slowly being recorrected back again. Hopefully in the end sanity prevails and the few woke nutjobs out there end up in a padded cell in straight jackets to prevent them from doing any more harm to the planet.

    I think these two scenarios are different.

    There are two kinds of controversies:

    1. To make noise and caught people's attention, as a way of Publicity (that's what Lennon had done, and to the lesser extent, the every statement coming from Prince Harry and the Kardashians), it's more just personal and non-entities, like the comments made on Social Media, this one is the literal controversy.

    2. It's your own perspective to break a barrier, it's kinda revolutionary (Just like Fleming, or Jose Rizal's works, or the arts containing Political Satires, or Rudyard Kipling's works) they tend to share their opinions on society, it's a brave move, to simply defy the odds.

    So, I don't see any differences of burning the copies of The Beatles' albums (at the time) to the burning of say, Prince Harry's book Spare, or whatever the Kardashians/Jenners did because of the controversy that they've done and said, I looked at them as the same, just making noise to gain attention, the same Lennon did.

    But of course, these days, no one could do that, and the albums became a big part of the pop culture, but back then, in the 60's, it's still not.

    It's still different from revising Fleming's works.

    Fleming's works are his perspective of a 50's society, his way to break barriers, and revolutionary, it reflects what the society looked like in the 50's and how they voiced their opinion on that, their perspectives.

    Think of Rudyard Kipling's The White Man's Burden, it's a reflection of an era in the way that it's revolutionary.
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 3,279
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    Amazing, I completely disagree with everything you just said. But in IFP's case I think it's just a cynical attempt to maintain profitability while they still hold the rights. I'm in full agreement with Lycett on this, I don't think the books should be censored, and as the Warner Brothers' disclaimer says, 'To do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.' I just hate how this becomes part of a 'culture war' and a stick to beat minorities.

    You don't disagree with everything I just said if you don't think the books should be censored. Make your mind up.
  • Posts: 3,279
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    [I looked at them as the same, just making noise to gain attention, the same Lennon did.
    That wasn't Lennon's intention at that time when he made those comments. It was said privately and was then blown way out of context. It wasn't for attention (The Beatles had way too much of it by then).
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 849
    I read that that kind of move is partialy of totally made for make better money.

    Still I wonder if it's a working way to do it. I don't honestly know if they are gonna doing more money with the change, or they would been have make more without it, or if it would have been a close 50-50. I'm mean whatever you choose you lost some readers : some will boycott the book if you not rewritte them, some will boycott it if you rewritte them.

    Don't know if the number of the first type of boycotter of your targeted audience is > or < to the other.

    In any case I/we/they will never know since there is no way to know.
  • Posts: 1,453
    So they are after Fleming now!!!! Where will this madness end? Burning books that are deemed offensive? Perhaps Orwell's 1984 will be edited as well!!!!
  • Posts: 2,895
    I've heard that IFP might be releasing a deluxe collector's set of Fleming hardcovers, which would likely have the uncensored texts. Presumably these will be for the moneyed collector, while the censored stuff will be fed to the general public. To me that sounds more snobbish and patronizing than anything Fleming wrote, but from a grossly commercial standpoint it makes dollars and cents. In any case, I'm sorry the books ever "came home" to IFP.
  • ggl007ggl007 www.archivo007.com Spain, España
    Posts: 2,539
    Just passing by to congratulate @Revelator for his great response and investigation.

    I'll add Horowitz's opinion:

    c6903129bc8dab88dedc1b52d3708b23b5ba0280_2_417x500.jpeg
  • edited February 2023 Posts: 2,887
    @Revelator hits the nail squarely on the head in his posts.

    This is the pathetic woke world we now live in. The next generation Z snowflake millennials are a fragile bunch aren't they, according to a few woke warriors out there.

    We can no longer watch the original Fawlty Towers German episode in its entirety anymore because the senile old Major utters the N word. LALD cannot be read in its original form anymore because the N word appears there too.

    I'm getting so tired of this. Churchill is no longer a war hero because he had an imperfect past, statues get torn down because historical figures also had an imperfect past.

    I get the impression the only people who really get offended by all this are a small jumped up minority, the kind of individuals who glue themselves down to the M25 during rush hour in the name of banning oil, or try to cancel JK Rowling for her opinions on women.

    They think they speak on behalf of this apparently very fragile next generation, but they don't! They are a bunch of lonely misfits who need to get a life.

    Amazing, I completely disagree with everything you just said. But in IFP's case I think it's just a cynical attempt to maintain profitability while they still hold the rights. I'm in full agreement with Lycett on this, I don't think the books should be censored, and as the Warner Brothers' disclaimer says, 'To do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.' I just hate how this becomes part of a 'culture war' and a stick to beat minorities.

    Sure, there's a vocal minority of young people when it comes to these things, but in this case it's literally those in power who are censoring themselves. It's wokeness for profit. Must keep the brand controversy free (even though there wouldn't have been much controversy to begin with) and perhaps get a pat on the back for 'cleaning up' the unsavoury elements of the text. May as well blame cynical older generations for this sort of thing.
    CraterGuns wrote: »
    The superior way would be to publish ANNOTATED editions of Fleming’s original texts… with notes addressing not only the archaic racial terms, but also mundane things that many people in the 21st century might be puzzled by. (“M.G.B? What’s that? Isn’t it supposed to be K.G.B.?”

    “Tannoy? What’s a tannoy?”)

    Yep, I think that'd be ideal.
  • Posts: 12,264
    Scary how the masses can be near-unanimous against something and yet it happens anyway…
  • MofMI6MofMI6 Midwest US
    Posts: 4
    To remove racism is to remove reality. It is an overused single-word-idiom that,frankly, has lost any meaning. Maybe those that bandy hate should start calling people Darwinist.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,109
    I hope this doesn't mean that future Bond books will be edited for a small woke audience. Dynamite Comics' Bond stories are a bit rough around the edges. I hope their stories won't be affected by this. Particularly CR and LALD reissues.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,985
    My own feeling on this is, whatever an author writes is sacrosanct and should not be altered. These publishers are basically saying that adults cannot be trusted to contextualise something written 70 years ago.

    I should hope most normal adults would read the book from a pragmatic standpoint and understand the prose is of it's time.

    This type of censorship is putting us on a dangerous path.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,690
    My own feeling on this is, whatever an author writes is sacrosanct and should not be altered. These publishers are basically saying that adults cannot be trusted to contextualise something written 70 years ago.

    I should hope most normal adults would read the book from a pragmatic standpoint and understand the prose is of it's time.

    This type of censorship is putting us on a dangerous path.

    This is basically what I was going to say.
    When I showed my Son the movie 48hrs he said it was fun but that they used the N word too much for his liking... I told him back then that was how a lot of people talked. He understands that art also serves as a time capsule. Don't worry on protecting the weak-minded, they don't read books anyway....
  • George_KaplanGeorge_Kaplan Not a red herring
    Posts: 564
    Calvin's take.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 4,958
    My own feeling on this is, whatever an author writes is sacrosanct and should not be altered. These publishers are basically saying that adults cannot be trusted to contextualise something written 70 years ago.

    I should hope most normal adults would read the book from a pragmatic standpoint and understand the prose is of it's time.

    This type of censorship is putting us on a dangerous path.

    Well said! I agree with you, this is very dangerous and may have consequences that we haven't even thought about. The big one to me, is the danger of taking today's thinking and applying it to a previous generation that didn't know better.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,690
    Calvin's take.
    Calvin rules.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    edited March 2023 Posts: 2,161
    I teach a high school film and animation class, in an extremely liberal area ( consider myself a "classic" liberal), which naturally involves watching a lot of films from throughout the art form's history. On day one I tell them, Jrs. and Srs., that I will never waste my time explaining that what I show in class is of it's time, and I will not apologize for people in the past not being prescient enough to take their modern sensibilities into account. I do go a bit further about what I see as the dangers of such coddling. Then I don't look back. I get zero complaints.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,690
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I teach a high school film and animation class, in an extremely liberal area ( consider myself a "classic" liberal), which naturally involves watching a lot of films from throughout the art form's history. On day one I tell them, Jrs. and Srs., that I will never waste my time explaining that what I show in class of it's time, and I will not apologize for people in the past not being prescient enough to take their modern sensibilities into account. I do go a bit further about what I see as the dangers of such coddling. Then I don't look back. I get zero complaints.

    And THIS^^^^^
  • Posts: 6,677
    If my publisher changes my books I won’t have them in my shelves and I won’t publish with them ever again, that I can promise. Intelectual property must be respected to the fullest. I have been saying this for years. And cleaning History is the shortest way to repeat it. These are indeed dumb and sad times. Here’s hoping that resistance, good sense and intelligence prevail over this mad, angry and nonsensical world we live in.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,536
    Univex wrote: »
    Intellectual property must be respected to the fullest.

    Absolutely correct.
    Univex wrote: »
    Cleaning history is the shortest way to repeat it.

    Absolutely correct.

    I'm with Calvin on this. I believe they're doing this to boost sales. But, to be frank, I resent the path they have chosen for that. You don't mess with books that old, especially when the author is no longer around to defend his work; and you don't do so in the name of the deceased author!
  • Posts: 6,677
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Univex wrote: »
    Intellectual property must be respected to the fullest.

    Absolutely correct.
    Univex wrote: »
    Cleaning history is the shortest way to repeat it.

    Absolutely correct.

    I'm with Calvin on this. I believe they're doing this to boost sales. But, to be frank, I resent the path they have chosen for that. You don't mess with books that old, especially when the author is no longer around to defend his work; and you don't do so in the name of the deceased author!
    Absolutely!
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