Sunday, November 20, 2005

Goodnight, Cig...

I don't think I need to explain the gentle, rhythmic, quieting allure of "Goodnight, Moon" to native English readers. The book jacket is undergoing a little surgery his year. The photograph of Hurd cheerily grasping a cigarette between the fingers of his right hand has been on the book for at least two decades, but now, due to the miracle of photo editing, the cigarette will disappear. You can make a case for this change:
Kate Jackson, the editor in chief of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said it only recently came to her attention, at a meeting to discuss how to publicize the book’s 60th anniversary in 2007. The company was about to reprint the hardcover and paperback editions, so "as a quick fix, we adjusted the photograph" to eliminate it, she said.

"It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids," Jackson said, "and it doesn’t need to be there."

Is it good to erase the cigarette? Here's what I think: George Santana said (something like this, the quote can be found with many variations): "Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it." I say, if we erase history, we'll ALL be condemned to repeat it.

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