Bond books to be revised to appease sensitive readers....

Never in a million years did I expect to agree with some of the hosts on the dumpster fire American TV show "The View"... but Goldberg has it right here I think.... the idea that any literary work should be revised as to not offend the reader is expert level stupidity... buuuuut that's where we are these days.....


https://www.foxnews.com/media/whoopi-goldberg-slams-re-editing-books-avoid-offending-modern-audiences-yall-have-stop-this

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Comments

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,950Chief of Staff

    Thanks for posting this- and there's some nice book covers in the link, too.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent
    edited February 2023

    I saw this, and tend to agree that adult books probably should be left as they were; but it is just the racial references which have been trimmed, and they can jolt you out of the experience of enjoying the book a little today, which isn't what was originally intended when they were written. Especially when it is the voice of the author peeking out rather than that of any characters; that changes the matter slightly. Plus we've been living with books like Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None for many years now so do we need to change them back to how they were? What would be the point?

    IFP do also point out that the changes made to LALD are historical ones which were made during Fleming's lifetime and which he actually agreed to: and which has been in print in the US since the 1950s, and printed in the UK in an edition six years ago (so it's perhaps a bit late to complain!). They have then extended this methodology to some of the other books. Fleming himself was never exactly precious about his creation: he was happy for the titles of his books to be changed, for 007 to become CIA agent Jimmy Bond, to get other people to actually write whole passages for him about guns and things he knew little of, for a hairy Scotsman to play him in the movies etc. etc. 😉 Odds are that he really wouldn't care.

    With the films meaning these books always appeal to younger readers I can see the logic to some extent, although I do generally agree with the sentiment that these things should remain as testaments to their age. But I think it's hardly impossible that we'll see IFP produce some 'original text' editions too, as with the Dahl books: they've pretty much only got Bond books to sell after all, so the more editions the better!

    I'd prefer it not to be the case, but I just can't get excited about it. It's not like there's any difficulty in getting hold of old editions of Bond novels, for one.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 541MI6 Agent

    IFP's claims are a bit fishy. It claims that "from his letters, it seems Fleming preferred the amended US version" of LALD.

    Here’s a letter Fleming sent to his American literary agent Naomi Burton in May 1955, which was reprinted in Chapter 19 of Pearson’s biography:

    "By the way and sucks to you, I had a drink with Raymond Chandler last night and he said that the best bit of Live and Let Die was the conversation between the two negroes in Harlem, which he said was dead accurate. Perhaps you remember that you nearly sneered me into cutting it out on grounds that 'Negroes don’t talk like that.'"

    Chandler’s copy of LALD came directly from Fleming, so it was the British version. And the conversation alluded to was cut from the American edition published in April 1955. Though Burton didn’t succeed in pressuring Fleming to cut it, Fleming’s American editor Al Hart did. In any case, the letter makes clear that Fleming was proud of the scene, and based on this letter he would not have preferred this edit to the original British version.

    If Fleming preferred the American edits, why didn’t he incorporate them into the British home market versions or their reprints? He had many opportunities to do so, especially after the books became best-sellers. The only post-publication edit Fleming ordered to every version of LALD was to correct a mistake about a perfume manufacturer. He had the opportunity to incorporate the other edits from the American version and he refused. (The American version of LALD was also superseded nearly 20 years ago when the Penguin editions were released stateside.)

    Removing offensive material from Fleming is like closing the barn door 60 years after the horse left. First-time readers will get a distorted version of the books and they’ll likely feel betrayed after learning they’d read a censored version that gave a dishonestly innocuous version of Fleming’s racial attitudes.

    It’s pointless to censor the books and pretend they don’t have racist passages. Who’s going to be fooled by this, when the original texts have been circulating for more than 60 years and will continue to do so online and in used bookshops? Anyone who comes away from the new editions thinking the Bond books don’t have offensive passages will quickly be disabused by reality (and a quick look at the internet). The project is very patronizing.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    Very interesting regarding his letters, thank you. I think whether he preferred it or not (and I agree IFP's claims look a bit fishy there) is perhaps a little irrelevant, as whether he liked them or not, he agreed to them. All books get edited to some degree unless you're one of the biggest names in the business.

    There are plenty of 'offensive passages' left in there ("sweet tang of rape" etc.) so I don't think they'll feel particularly sanitised. If it were my choice between the two I'd pick the originals, but I can see how IFP may feel the pressure of today's commercial world and make, what are, a very small amount of changes. Or indeed, they may well change their minds and revert to the original texts before publishing (it might all be a very swift bit of PR thinking!).

  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,645MI6 Agent

    Yes, I too would have never imagined agreeing with Whoopi Goldberg on a “woke” issue…at least with the 21st century version of WG because I think the 20th century version of her was culturally acceptable.

    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,872MI6 Agent

    strange theyd leave in lines like "sweet tang of rape". There's a similar passage in The Spy Who Loved Me which is even more disturbing because its from Vivienne's point of view. Perhaps they're just assuming women are never going to read these books anyway? then there's the passage about the cause of homosexuality in Goldfinger.


    Anecdotally: I recently overheard a customer talking to a comic book store clerk, saying he'd tried to read Tintin and given up because the oldschool stereotypes were too distracting. I doubt he was starting with Tintin in the Congo, because that ones usually out of print, so I was wondering which volume he could possibly have been reading that was that "distracting"??. Herge himself revised his older stories to make them less offensive. This customer was considering reading Carl Barks' Donald Duck because Barks is considered such a great comics storyteller, but wanted the clerk to assure him Donald Duck would not contain similar "distracting" "stereotypes", otherwise he wouldnt bother. Point is: there are people like this, with money in their pocket theyre going to spend on one product or another, and presence of old school stereotypes in Product A is enough to make that choice to instead purchase Product B.

    I cannot understand the mentality, as Tintin and Carl Barks' Donald Duck comics are two of the greatest comics series ever, they ought to be part of the school curriculum, they're that inherently good and historically important. Just put a paragraph on the first page alerting the reader that "this story contains stereotypes typical of the time that are considered offensive today" or similar.


    anyway Fleming is in the Public Domain in Canada, may soon enter the Public Domain elsewhere, anybody is free to publish an unexpurgated grey-market edition if they think theres a market for it.

  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 3,402Quartermasters

    Revising the books is certainly not something that I am in favour of. But it does seem odd that if certain revisions are to be made, that other lines and references considered quesitonable or offensive would remain untouched. Once they get started changing things how do they decide when to stop? Seems like creating a bit of a mess to me. I wish they'd leave them alone.

    Interesting Tintin example you mentioned there caractacus potts. I've never read Tintin in the Congo, but I'm aware of some of its content. As for the other novels, I can sort of understand why that reader was a little put off by them. We do live in an age now where people talk so much about these issues that it might make people a little hyper-aware and unsettled by relatively innocent examples of stereotyping etc. I'll admit there are a few examples in the Tintin books, I think maybe in The Blue Lotus (the Japanese characters) or maybe the Shooting Star (the Jewish banker).

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    anyway Fleming is in the Public Domain in Canada, may soon enter the Public Domain elsewhere, anybody is free to publish an unexpurgated grey-market edition if they think theres a market for it.

    Not soon, no; that is still decades away. And James Bond remains trademarked so they’d have to not mention him.

  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 3,402Quartermasters

    I think Roland Hulme's YouTube discussion on the implications of rewriting and removing historical context to the Bond novels is a really good watch, and I agree with his point of view on this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak9g0qBUqIo

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    I think 'removing historical context' is slightly disingenuous; there's no sign of them doing that any more so than any previous editions in the last 60 or so years have.

  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 163MI6 Agent
    edited February 2023

    The only thing they should have removed from the books is his ludicrous use of his Rolex as a knuckle duster, the most hair brained idea Fleming ever had. "....Bond lay dead on the floor. After breaking his right hand finger bones and suffering multiple lacerations, the blood loss caused him to pass out where he was subsequently beaten to death. As he lay dying he thought "that was a silly idea".... "

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 541MI6 Agent

    Andrew Lycett has weighed in now too:

    I’m Ian Fleming’s biographer – there’s no way James Bond can be made ‘PC’ (The Independent, Feb. 27, 2023)

    I feel strongly that what an author commits to paper is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be altered. It stands as evidence of attitudes at a particular moment in time

    By Andrew Lycett

    Ian Fleming’s books have now followed Roald Dahl’s and been pruned of potentially offensive references on the advice of a new tribe of sensitivity readers.

    But it’s never a good look to change what an author originally wrote. It smacks of censorship, and there’s seldom much mileage in that.

    Of course, there are words and phrases in the Bond novels which look out of place today. References to race, as in the ethnicity of the barman in Thunderball, have reportedly been removed from a new edition of the 007 oeuvre, along with the description of a striptease in Live and Let Die.

    However, I feel strongly that what an author commits to paper is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be altered. It stands as evidence of that writer’s – and society’s – attitudes at a particular moment in time, whether it’s by Shakespeare, Dickens, or Ian Fleming.

    The only changes to the text should come from the author. So Fleming himself allowed the title of a chapter heading in Live and Let Die, published in 1954, to be altered in subsequent editions because it used an offensive racial stereotype.

    But there's no way Bond's character in the Fleming books can be modified to make him politically correct. Fleming created a sexist, often sadistic, killer, with anachronistic attitudes to homosexuals, and to a range of people of different nationalities. These stand as evidence of how Britons (or at least some of them) thought at a particular moment in time.

    Posthumous “continuation novels” like the later Bond novels written by Anthony Horowitz can initiate changes if required, though the secret agent’s behaviour in these is surprisingly familiar – except that he no longer smokes like a chimney or drinks quite as much.

    Films have more licence in this regard. Consequently EON, the producers of the James Bond movies, have tried to make the central character more sensitive – and even a family man – in the latest instalment of the franchise No Time to Die, which appeared in 2021. But often in the past, when they have attempted any softening of the character, they have returned to the original hard man of Fleming’s books.

    I have some perspective on this since, as well as writing a biography of Fleming, I have also written one on Rudyard Kipling, the Anglo-Indian author who kick-started his career with Plain Tales from the Hills, a collection of witty short stories about the Raj.

    As a young journalist in India in the later 19th century, Kipling admired the British administration, became a committed imperialist, and thereafter turned his back on any expression of Indian political self-determination.

    But while several of his attitudes would be dismissed today, his work – with all its felicities and imperfections – should be left untouched, as it vividly represents how society operated during his lifetime. As a result, his output has found new favour in modern India, not least as a historical source which is studied for its vivid description of the late colonial period.

    Similarly, Fleming can be read – along with his contemporary Kingsley Amis – for his sophisticated journalist’s take on the mindless materialism of a society emerging blinking into the world after the deprivations of war, eager for new experiences which include foreign travel and sensual pleasure.

    He stated uncompromisingly that his books were “written for warm-blooded heterosexuals in railways trains, aeroplanes and beds”. In other words, he was writing for adults on the move in a modern society.

    The Roald Dahl stories which recently publicised this issue are aimed almost exclusively at children. While young minds should not be exposed to unnecessary cruelty, characters such as the tyrannical Miss Trunchbull in Dahl’s Matilda have emerged unscathed. Children enjoy the frisson which comes from a sense of naughtiness. Otherwise, the pantomime Punch and Judy would not exist.

    It is possible to preface such books with a warning of potentially offensive material and leave it to a reader, or a parent, to decide how to proceed. Inevitably it’s the big names, such as Dahl and Fleming, which are mainly affected.

    There is a reason for this, and its name is business. Their popularity means that they are more likely to be filmed or turned into comics, video games, or any other media which copyright holders are drawn to in the promotion of a “franchise”.

    Andrew Lycett is the author of ‘Ian Fleming’ and ‘Rudyard Kipling’, both published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,107MI6 Agent
    edited February 2023

    I second Andrew Lycett, particularly in regard to a warning inserted prior to the full text. Currently, as I study Creative Writing at the Open University, I am constantly being reminded that set texts and excerpts feature language, sexual reference, out dated social attitudes, references to abuse, violence, slavery, trauma, death, grief and mental illness [among others] which may offend or disturb. I haven't been disturbed or offended by any of it, but I acknowledge some people may and this warning is for their benefit - proceed at their peril. The texts are often not even established, many are contemporary pieces. So surely the way forward over sensitivity ordnance is to advise, not to censor, whenever the issue may arise. This retains an author's integrity and allows readers to judge themselves the value of a work, good, bad, offensive or otherwise.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    It’s not really about ‘woke censorship’ much as the papers would love it to be; it’s really more about IP owners wanting to squeeze as much life and money out of their properties as possible, even when it’s beyond its natural lifespan as a contemporary product.

    I don’t much like the changes, but they are business moves: even though they get portrayed as culture war actions in the press.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 476MI6 Agent

    The problem with political correctness is despite what its shills try to sell you, it has no boundaries and eventually comes for everyone. I hope this little side show gives the wokesters around here a bit of pause.

    Anyhoo, here's another related editorial:

    Rewriting Ian Fleming’s James Bond Books: What Is Even the Point? | Den of Geek

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,549MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    The so-called "sensitivity readers" remind me of the Morality Police in Iran for some reason. I suppose other names for them could be Thought Police or Grammar Nazis. It's all very Orwellian though the difference in Nineteen Eighty-Four was that the totalitarianism and censorship came from the all-powerful one party state and nowadays publishers themselves are acquiescing in censorship and revisionism with no apparent impetus from the state itself. In fact the prime minister Rishi Sunak spoke out against the censorship of Roald Dahl's work saying that you shouldn't "gobblefunk" with words, quoting from The BFG. In that sense, it's even more insidious and worrying than the world Orwell predicted. It reminds me of a documentary I saw on Joseph Goebbels where an old German journalist of the time was interviewed and he said when he read over his journalism of that period he noticed how stilted it was almost as if his brain was standing to attention to the regime, awaiting orders. He had thought that journalists were free to write whatever they wanted at the time but looking back with hindsight this was obviously not the case. It just shows how this sort of self-imposed censorship can become second nature in no time at all. The recent news about the censorship and rewriting of Roald Dahl's and Ian Fleming's work represents publishers standing to attention to the woke and pronoun quoting mob. Its insidiousness and chilling effect for modern authors is where the real danger lies in the future, to say nothing of novels from our rich literary past.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    It’s not the morality police because they hand out judgements and force people to obey, it’s the publishers doing it to themselves to squeeze as much life and cash out of their product as possible.

    I think calling it ‘self-imposed censorship’ on writers is a touch OTT too: do you really think that, say, Anthony Horowitz was ever likely to write a Bond continuation novel with a chapter title like ‘N_ _ _ Heaven’, as LALD has? Is it really a bad thing that he never would? Is that self-censorship or just the world moving on?

    I’m not keen on this happening, but some reactions I’ve seen can border on hysteria.

  • 00730073 COPPosts: 965MI6 Agent

    First of all. it is censorship, pure and simple.

    "censorship, the changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing that is deemed subversive of the common good. ". - https://www.britannica.com/topic/censorship.

    What I find particularly interesting in discussions like this, is that while restraints upon speaking and publishing are fewer now than at most times in the history (what would once have been referred to as “freedom of speech and of the press” is now often referred to as “freedom of expression”), this absence of restraints does not seem to extend to historical materiel. This "retroactive suppression of thought and expression" should not be tolerated, as it is only a small step away from suppression of contemporary expression of ideas. While I am of the school of thought that I should not be forced be subjected to the drivel from every crack pot and religious zealot, I will still hang on to my right to choose what I subject my self to. There are always two sides to censorship: the prevention of the publication of ideas is one, but what is more important and often forgotten (but not by me) is the prevention of the access to ideas. That was the driving force, when Christian church fought against the common literacy, and it is now with the state sanctioned internet in such paradises of freedom as China.

    I don't think, that this change in regards of IF original material is anything more than overreaction by the publicist trying to keep the books relevant to wider audiences. But what it is most definitely is unfortunate that the publicist has so little faith to the public having competency to assess the material by its own merits.

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    First of all. it is censorship, pure and simple.

    "censorship, the changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing that is deemed subversive of the common good. ". - https://www.britannica.com/topic/censorship.

    If you keep reading you'll see that it 'occurs in manifestations of authority' - censorship is regarded to conducted by a controlling authority or body. Notice this part from wikipedia: When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of his or her own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship

    There is no controlling authority decreeing or imposing these changes, they are entirely self-motivated: there is no 'censor' forcing this. So it's not censorship, in the pure or simple definition.

    Do you really think that someone deciding not to write books with chapter titles like that today is suppression of thought? I would say that's rather wild extrapolation.

  • 00730073 COPPosts: 965MI6 Agent

    So you do not see the publishing company as manifestation of controlling authority in this case? Also self-censorship does not apply, since Ian Fleming is not in a position to censor his own works.

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    No, because they're not. That's just not what 'authority' refers to when we talk about censorship. The BBFC (or MPAA in the US), in the case of films, are the censor, where Paramount or whatever are not the censor; they would be the ones being censored. It absolutely is self-censorship because they are choosing to publish these works and no authority is forcing them to censor the material.

    Ian Fleming never published his own works, although funnily enough this is the first time that Ian Fleming Publications have published his works, pretty much as near to him doing so as you're going to get. And he also had agreed to the American edit of LALD removing some of the stronger racial references as that happened during his lifetime (he may not have liked it, but I'm sure he had the choice to not allow it to be published at all), so even that very tight definition of self-censorship would apply there.

  • 00730073 COPPosts: 965MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    "No, because they're not. That's just not what 'authority' refers to when we talk about censorship. The BBFC (or MPAA in the US), in the case of films, are the censor, where Paramount or whatever are not the censor; they would be the ones being censored. It absolutely is self-censorship because they are choosing to publish these works and no authority is forcing them to censor the material."

    You are taking a too narrow view on what authority is in this case, or in any case regarding censorship. It is the same as saying that politically motivated changes done by a newspapers editor to a incendiary article without the consent of the author is "self censorship". Any gatekeeper who has the ability to either deny altogether publishing or, like in this case, change published material should be viewed as having authority over the said material. Authority is not just an agency with parliamentary and/or legislative power to force these matters on others.

    Granted the publisher is taking the unilateral step of making these changes, which is self censorship. But in the same time, they as the gatekeeper for publishing these materials, are forcing these changes on general audience. We, as readers, are denied access to the unedited original works of Ian Fleming. That is censorship. Which should not be accepted.

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
  • You Know My Name007You Know My Name007 Posts: 90MI6 Agent

    They say we learn from history

    but how in the world are we supossed to learn from history if its getting changed ( from the original )

    You can not rewrite history i dont care how much it offends anybody Leave it all as it is


    while we are at it let us rewrite All Religious books ( we cant even say that they are realy true now can we )

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,618MI6 Agent

    You are taking a too narrow view on what authority is in this case, or in any case regarding censorship. It is the same as saying that politically motivated changes done by a newspapers editor to a incendiary article without the consent of the author is "self censorship". Any gatekeeper who has the ability to either deny altogether publishing or, like in this case, change published material should be viewed as having authority over the said material. Authority is not just an agency with parliamentary and/or legislative power to force these matters on others.

    When anyone talks about 'the censor' it is never in relation to the body actually publishing the works.

    Granted the publisher is taking the unilateral step of making these changes, which is self censorship.

    Yes, that's all I'm saying.

    But in the same time, they as the gatekeeper for publishing these materials, are forcing these changes on general audience. We, as readers, are denied access to the unedited original works of Ian Fleming. That is censorship. Which should not be accepted.

    Well I think that's a little strong: these books have been in constant print for the last 70 years- it's not hard to find the original text. I'm sure we both have them sitting on our bookshelves right now; and these are extremely minor changes. Plus we all should also bear in mind what just happened with Dahl's works: it is announced that they are edited, and then they later reveal that unedited versions will be available too.

    And 'forcing changes on the audience' is how all publishers work: they edit the work of almost all authors' work they publish before we even see it - I daresay Fleming may have been edited upon original publication in ways we don't know about. Perhaps not; Revelator would know better than me.

    I agree that editing classic novels is different and uncomfortable and I don't love this move, but I think it's important not to overreact either.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,872MI6 Agent

    silhouette man said;

    The so-called "sensitivity readers" remind me of the Morality Police in Iran for some reason.

    _____________________

    where did the term "sensitivity readers" come from? out of IFP's press release?

    does it refer to potentially readers who may purchase the book and be sensitive to what they read? or does it mean Editors working for IFP looking for potentially offensive passages?


    re the definition of "authority": it is different when the publisher self-censors vs the Government. The Government is the Authority, the legal entity who creates and enforces laws to which we must submit. The Publisher is a private entity making a voluntary choice.

    A comparison can be made to the Hayes Code or the Comics Code in the United States, both introduced by members of their respective industries to self regulate content, and in both cases to avoid Government regulation. Both were the results of Moral Panics at the time, they had reason to fear Government censorship was coming and chose a strategy to stay in business by altering their product. I know rather more about the Comics Code, it was not all publishers, but the dominant publishers who wanted to protect and enlarge marker share. It was primarily the owners of DC, Archie and Marvel Comics who made up the Comics Code Authority, and the rules of the Code were written i such a way as to drive smaller rival EC out of business. Other publishers, such as Dell or Classic Comics, never took part as they argued their product was so obviously wholesome it did not need the Comics code Seal of Approval to sell (whereas Marvel's horror comics at the time were as notorious as EC's, they were just in a better position to survive publishing other types of comics)

    in our case, this is one publisher acting on its own, not a group of publishers. I've never heard of any threat of Government Censorship, so we should stop invoking that strawman and confusing the issue.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,872MI6 Agent

    over on MI6 Community someone raised the idea that, rather than alter Fleming's text, now is surely the time for Annotated Editions to explain the context for modern readers. Now that 70 years have passed it is harder and harder to understand many of the larger points in Fleming's stories without doing further research, let alone the fine details.

    I know I had to read The Man Who Saved Britain to understand the mention of an avocado in Casino Royale was a symbol of unobtainable luxury in postwar Britain, that reference just sailed passed me. Surely Live and Let Die could use some commentary about race relations in preCivil Rights America (either footnotes or a longer essay in the Appendices). A lot of other debate that goes on the real world (specifically America) makes me think this era is so far in the past now younger generations have no idea what it used to be like.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,747MI6 Agent

    Semantics about censorship aside, I think we can all agree that the intention by IFP here was to make more money by expanding the audience. And since that was their goal, whoever is making these decisions or advising them must be brain dead. None of the “sensitivity readers” were ever going to buy these new editions anyway. But I was. And many of you were. And now we’re not going to. This could be the end of IFP. I don’t see how they undo the damage. What a self-inflicted wound.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,872MI6 Agent
    edited March 2023

    ah, now I see the term "sensitivity readers" comes from Lycett's article quoted by @Revelator above. and I cant tell from that whether he's referring to potential customers, or editors working for IFP (and other publishers: I imagine one could make a career as such a consultant advising several publishers)

    _________________________

    Lycett said:

    Ian Fleming’s books have now followed Roald Dahl’s and been pruned of potentially offensive references on the advice of a new tribe of sensitivity readers.

    _________________________

  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,645MI6 Agent

    To qualify, one must undergo a painful daily regimen of sandpapering their skin to reduce its thickness to that of an onion’s so they can experience sensitivities at the most ridiculous levels.

    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,549MI6 Agent


    Just to clarify that "sensitivity readers" as a term refers to readers in the employ of the publishers of the works of Ian Fleming (and Roald Dahl and no doubt soon to be other classic authors) who go through the original texts and edit or censor them according to what they perceive as the social and ethical mores of the contemporary time. Here's an article from The Spectator magazine dated 10 July 2021 which goes into more detail on this more recent publishing phenomenon:

    The rise of the 'sensitivity reader' | The Spectator

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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