The wave of woke book censorship seems to be hitting British lit hard with Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl and now PG Wodehouse on the hit parade. How long can the “sensitivity readers” hold off on Orwell? Few censors have any perspective or a sense of humor, neither do publishing execs, so it’s bound to happen soon.
For now, it’s Wooster and Jeeves up in front of the woke firing squad, and that seems somehow appropriate. When censors come after humorists, it’s a kind of validation of the subject and a special kind of indictment of the censors.
Penguin Random House has altered what it termed the “unacceptable prose” of author P.G. Wodehouse in new editions of his classic Jeeves and Wooster series.
The publisher also warned readers of “outdated” terms in the revamped works, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The Jeeves and Wooster books portray Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves, and consist of 35 short stories and 11 novels.
A disclaimer printed on the opening pages of the 2023 reissue of Wodehouse’s Thank you, Jeeves, notes, “Please be aware that this book was published in the 1930s and contains language, themes and characterizations which you may find outdated. In the present edition we have sought to edit, minimally, words that we regard as unacceptable to present-day readers.”
“That we regard as unacceptable.”
They could just give up the books and let someone else publish them, if they morally object to them, instead they’ve gone to censorship route.
The censorship, in this case, is coming from ex-Nazi publisher Bertelsmann, currently wearing the mask of Penguin Random House that the German mega-corp bought up, looted and now wears like a skin suit. CEO Markus Dohle has waged a ruthless kulturkampf against America by pushing Ibram X. Kendi and other racist authors while assembling a “book defense fund” to fight parents trying to keep hate and sexual content away from their children. Wodehouse would have had a field day with him and with Bertelsmann. So would Dahl.
Warehouse to be bowdlerized? How, I wonder? While it’s been decades since I read Wodehouse, I can’t recall even one word or situation in any of his Jeeves/Wooster stories that could be construed as offensive to anyone. In fact, these stories should have appeal to the Left, as they ridiculed the British upper classes, depicting them as effete and bumbling, relying on their industrious and resourceful inferiors for survival,
Why is my initial comment being subjected to moderation? Like Wodehouse’s writings being bowdlerized, I see no justification for it. And if the comment is actually allowed to be posted – hours from now, perhaps – will it even be read? And Spellchecker slipped one by me, substituting “Warehouse” for Wodehouse. Sorry for my laxity in proofreading what I wrote before it was sent, if these comments ever even see the light of day.
Kevin R. says
I don’t see why anyone would buy a censored PG Wodehouse. I certainly won’t.
Tex the Mockingbird says
Only allow books written by Leftists authors only allow School Textbooks full of the liberal Lies approved of by the NEA