Finally: F. Scott Fitzgerald works reissued with original racial slurs back in

Finally: F. Scott Fitzgerald works reissued with original racial slurs back in

[Ed. – What else does an underemployed society do for fun?]

Absent from the versions published in the Post were overt references to sexual acts or situations, statements of profanity, remarks betraying racism or antisemitism, as well as most mentions of drunkenness and all references to drug use. For example, in the story “Two Wrongs,” the despicable protagonist, Bill, describes a person as a “dirty little kyke,” a slur against Jewish people. Despite the fact that uttering the phrase made an unpleasant man more unlikable, Ober cut the remark before sending the story to the Post.

“Before these stories were bowdlerised, they contained antisemitic slurs, sexual innuendo, instances of drug use and drunkenness. They also contained profanity and mild blasphemy. The texts were scrubbed clean at the Post,” West told The Guardian.

In “The Hotel Child,” for example, a reference to a character “surreptitiously feeding a hasheesh tablet to the Pekingese” was excised from the Post version, and profanity like “Get the Hell out of here!” and the antisemitic slur “Sheeny” were scrubbed from the text. The effect, West said, is that “the decadence of several of the characters is revealed more clearly because of their alcoholism, drug use, and prejudice.” …

The Post did not require all of the offensive words and themes removed from his stories, however. In “The Camel’s Back,” published in the April 24, 1920 issue of the Post, he used “Jumbo,” an “obese negro waiter at the Tallyho Club,” for comic effect. His characters also regularly refer to black characters as “c**ns,” “n*****s,” “pickaninnies,” and “Samboes,” words which failed to offend the sensibilities of the Post‘s middle-class readers.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments