UK publisher Pan MacMillan had decided that the truth of history requires a warning for anyone who dares to enjoy art that could contain “hurtful or indeed harmful” words, scenes, or depictions. Now, the 1936 novel will have a label slapped on to ensure people couldn’t get hurt.
“The text of this book remains true to the original in every way and is reflective of the language and period in which it was originally written. We want to alert readers that there may be hurtful or indeed harmful phrases and terminology that were prevalent at the time this novel was written and which are true to the context of the historical setting of this novel. Pan Macmillan believes changing the text to reflect today’s world would undermine the authenticity of the original, so has chosen to leave the text in its entirety. This does not, however, constitute an endorsement of the characterization, content, or language used.”
A warning like this is beyond inconceivable, it is horrific. People should not need to be warned about the contents of the book. While warnings and labels have their place in society, calling an 87-year-old novel “hurtful or indeed harmful” is beyond reasonable. People these days are feeling guilt or shame for things they had no control over, and they are letting their white guilt show for all to see.
One of the biggest carries of that guilt is the (surprise, surprise) white liberal woman Philippa Gregory will also be including a foreword to establish what she considers to be the “white supremacist” portions of the story. While this is an ignorant virtue-signaling decision, it’s even more than that. It’s a travesty against literature.
People the world over read books for a variety of reasons. Some simply want information; others are looking to be entertained. Then you have the rare phenomenon where you are transported to a new time and place where you live the experiences that the characters go through. Books like “Tom Sawyer”, “War and Peace”, “Little Women”, and even “Harry Potter” are examples of these books. “Gone With the Wind” is another one of those classic pieces of literature.
A UK company deciding they want to feel white guilt because of the way the world was in a country that already won its independence from their tyrannical rule is simply ignorant. This company does not understand the first thing about the way America was, nor do they understand how things are viewed here.
Telling the reader how to feel about a character before the story even begins poisons their experience. Whenever they read something about how the story is progressing, they will be thinking about the image the foreword put into their head at the beginning of the book. Setting this book in the Civil War in the South means that there will be certain truths required in the story to maintain some semblance of accuracy and honesty.
Without this book, there would be no Hattie McDaniel as Mammy. She would not have been the first black actor or actress to win an Oscar. The film would not be the most popular film in the world or the most financially successful (accounting for inflation). This film has been a cornerstone of high school English for decades as has the book. Film schools worldwide use it as an example of what you can achieve with a perfect script and some great actors.
People are going to look at the book, and they are going to read the book. This isn’t what needs a warning label. The recent flood of child sexuality and LGTBQ books need warning labels. The leftist agenda books disguised as bedtime books need forewords to warn kids that they are being brainwashed. Quit messing with and trying to warn people about history. Present it to them and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Don’t set the table for them to go into the book with a prejudiced mindset.