Updated editions

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Apr 17 09:39:50 EDT 2002

> One of the many silly things about updating stories (apart from
> interrupting the flow of the original) is that DWJ's books are very
> evocative of the time they were written. Witch Week, Ogre, Power of Three
> Dogsbody & Eight Days of Luke all remind me of my 70s childhood, and don't
> need to be updated to include mobile phones, cds, TV remotes etc in order
> for todays children to understand them.

Hear, hear!

> Though know I think about it the TV adaptation of Goon did update things to
> the (then) present, with Howard using a PC to design spaceships, rather
> than (good old fashioned) pen & paper.

Except that I don't think he did use pen and paper.  He did it all in his head
while practicing his violin!  And yet in the TV version he didn't even pick up
the violin...

> I do wonder what they will do with the reissue of Witch Week, though. It
> does include some racist remarks (very 1970s dialogue though), but then
> racism is unfortunately still part of life now. Editing out a few words
> might also lessen the impact of the bullies, although Buster's 'colourful
> language' seems very tame for 2002!

Are you sure you're not thinking of Wilkins' Tooth?

I can't remember any racism in Witch Week, and Buster is certainly in WT not WW.

As for Buster's language, I don't for a moment imagine that he actually used the
colour words that appear in the text.  This is just a standard way of
representing "colourful" obscenities in print.  It also leads up nicely to jokes
like "Between the Devil and the deep blue Buster" - one more good reason not to
update it!

But I agree that remarks like "If his eye offend thee, b1ack it.  But Vernon's
black already, so it won't show" are both typical of children's attitudes, and
strongly disapproved ov by the political correctness brigate :-(

(Ironic that in 1972, Buster's remark about Vernon, "Orange nig", is implicitly
censored in the adjective, whereas now the censorship would only be applied to
the noun...)


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