Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Goodnight Reality

Goodnight Reality. Both of my sons enjoyed the book Goodnight Moon when they were real little. It was in fact one of the first books I read to each of them.

I think I can recite it from memory. It is a good read if you are one.

Harper Collins recently released a new version of the book. All looks good but wait...

Someone has messed around with the picture of illustrator Clement Hurd! For some unknown (and unannounced) reason, the picture was sanatized to remove the cigarette from his hand. Just like that, 50 years later, Clement Hurd has given up smoking!

The blogged site of the day (Goodnight Reality) protests this crazy revisionist version of Mr. Hurd and calls for the placement of the original picture in Goodnight Moon. I fully support this message.

From the site:

This website is temporary, and has been designed solely for the sake of protesting the recent decision by Harper Collins Publishers to censor Goodnight Moon , one of America's national
literary treasures, and far and away the best-selling book in the history of children's literature.

Below are two photographs of Clement Hurd, the illustrator of Goodnight Moon . The image on the left is the original photograph that has adorned the back of the trade hardcover edition of Goodnight Moon for over 50 years. The image on the right is the new, altered version of the photograph, in which the cigarette that once resided in Clement Hurd's hand has been digitally removed by the publisher.

In a single stroke, Harper Collins has changed our collective history, and created an alternate reality in which Clement Hurd does not smoke. It calls to mind a censorship tactic most famously associated with Joseph Stalin, who falsified the archival record of the Soviet Union by literally removing images of his political enemies from photographs in an effort to recreate history in his own image.

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