Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Daily Vocabulary

bowdlerize: to edit a work in order to remove passages believed to be improper, usually but not always sexually improper. Named for Thomas and Harriet Bowdler, who did a goodly bit of it. It's a mealy mouthed form of censorship, and it's bothersome. And it is being engaged in, in a strange form, by Orson Scott Card, a horrible and hateful bigot who wrote some very good books at one point but now is apparently producing an anti-gay retelling of Hamlet, revealing to us the "real" story. I'm bothered by this personally, as a gay man, professionally, as a writer, and fanboytastically, as someone who really very much liked Ender's Game and the next couple of books, and Seventh Son and those lot, and Memory of Earth, and the short fiction, and now has those books changed for me. Retroactively bowdlerized, if you will, by my own responses to the man who wrote them. I'm sad about that. I'm sadder that such a successful, talented person has to be so hateful and narrow minded.

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