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Controversial measure: Agatha Christie's books will be rewritten with changes


It will consist of the elimination of ethnic references, insults and what could be considered as offensive language in the mysteries of the inspector Hercule Poirot.

The work of the British writer Agatha Christie will be subjected to a

process of "adaptation"

to the sensibility of the time which, like the recent corrections carried out on the books of Roald Dahl or the adventures of James Bond, will consist of the elimination of

references ethnic slurs, insults

and what could be considered offensive language in the texts that collect the mysteries of Inspector

Hercule Poirot

and Miss Marple.

The announcement that the novels of the so-called "mystery lady" are being rewritten to avoid hurting the sensibilities of some of the readers was made by the British newspaper The Telegraph, precisely the same one


released the news that the works of Roald Dahl, author of works such as "Matilda" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and those of Ian Fleming, author behind the adventures of James Bond,

were altered

by their publishers.

In both cases, the changes came after the texts were read by a team of "sensitivity readers," a role played by those charged with suggesting whether a book's portrayal of any group might be offensive or uninclusive


Agatha Christie supervising the archaeological excavations of Chagar Bazar, in present-day Syria (EFE).

Suggestions of a similar nature have now fallen on Christie's texts, which are being rewritten by his publisher,

Harper Collins,

to adapt them to "modern sensibilities", according to

The Telegraph.

The objective, according to the newspaper, is to strip them of language or descriptions that "more modern readers might find offensive."

For this, a commission of "sensitive readers"

has been created

that has analyzed the works released after 2020 and those that are going to be published.

The corrections

According to

The Telegraph

, from the works of Christie, who died in 1976, passages and even characters have been removed, such as that of a British tourist who vents her frustration with a group of children who bother her, as well as references to the teeth and physiques

of some people.

The correction was made on the 1937 novel

"Death on the Nile"

, in which Mrs. Allerton's character complains that a group of children are bothering her, and claims that "they come and look, and look, and

their Their eyes are just disgusting

, as are their noses, and

I don't think I like children very much

. "

The reference to noses is considered inappropriate as

offensive to an ethnicity

, so that passage has been removed, reducing it to "I don't think I'm very into boys."

Some words were also changed, and, for example, the term "oriental" was removed and also the term "native", which has been replaced by "local".

The changes occurred with references that may be offensive or uninclusive.

The changes have been authorized by the company

Agatha Christie Limited

, run by the author's great-grandson James Prichard, which manages the rights to her works for literature and film.

It is not the first time that the work of the author of "Murder on the Orient Express" and "Death on the Nile" has been intervened: last year, the editors of the new Spanish edition of the classic known until now as "Diez nigritos" They decided to change the title to

"And no one was left alive"

, trying to avoid any suspicion that could sow doubts about the expiration of the old racial, sexual and class paradigms that wove a civilizational story that is under discussion today.

The classic known until now as "Ten little blacks" changed the title to "And none were left alive."

Regarding the most recent examples of "appropriateness", in the case of the James Bond texts, some references to

black people

have been modified or removed to avoid racist interpretations, as well as other words or descriptions considered shocking.

In Dahl's case, editors included

hundreds of changes to their stories

in language related to weight, mental health, violence or gender, removing words like

"fat" or "ugly."

Dahl's case produced a

widespread rejection

, even forcing the publisher in question

(Puffin UK)

to make the supposedly Solomonic announcement that along with the new "revised" versions there will also be reissues without modifications.

Telam Agency

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-29

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