Tom Hanks, the acclaimed actor and author of “The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece,” recently expressed his strong opposition to publishers rewriting classic books to cater to modern sensitivities.
During a discussion with Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4, Hanks argued that classic novels should be left untouched and not censored to reflect modern sensibilities.
In Hanks’ opinion, readers should be treated as adults and allowed to form their own opinions about the books they read.
He believes that it is unnecessary to censor or rewrite classic novels, and that it is important to understand the historical context in which these books were written.
Hanks stated, “I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here and we understand the time and the place and when these things were written.”
Furthermore, Hanks believes that readers should be free to choose which media they consume, without publishers deciding for them what may or may not be offensive. He emphasized that readers should be able to decide for themselves what they find offensive and what they do not. “Let me decide what I am offended by and not offended by,” he said.
Hanks expressed his strong opposition to reading any book that has been abridged or censored due to modern sensitivities. He firmly believes that classic novels should be left as they are, without any modifications. He stated, “I would be against reading any book from any era that says ‘abridged due to modern sensitivities’.”
Hanks’ comments come in the midst of a wave of censorship in classic literature.
Roald Dahl’s books, for example, have come under fire for their potentially offensive language.
In response, Penguin, under the Puffin label, announced plans to release an alternate classic collection that will keep Dahl’s original text intact.
However, the decision to rewrite the books has been met with backlash from many who believe that classic novels should not be changed to suit modern sensitivities.
Similarly, Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels will also be rewritten to protect modern readers from the language in the original books. Each copy of the books will now come with a disclaimer that reads, “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.”
Hanks’ stance on this issue is clear: classic novels should not be changed to suit modern sensitivities. Instead, he thinks readers should be treated as adults and allowed to form their own opinions about the books they read.
It is important to understand the historical context in which these books were written and to appreciate them as they are, without any modifications.