Stop the Trigger Warning madness

Call me old fashioned, but I grew up in the sticks and stones generation.

Words are not violence.

And people who lived before us did not buy into whatever PC language laws were invented by the mob five seconds ago.

But this whole censorship-friendly environment is really getting out of hand. Roald Dahl stories had to be “rewritten” for modern sensibilities … of uber-sensitive readers.

And now Ernest Hemingway will be given Trigger Warnings by Penguin to point out to hyper-sensitive cohort of readers concerned that books written a century ago do not follow today’s agressive diktats of what is IncorrectThought.

I’m not even the biggest Hemingway fan, but I’ve read all his work and I highly recommend that other  readers and writers do the same.


If publishers insist on this strategy, why not include two forewords? One for a real expert on Hemingway and his oeuvre. And another by a gender studies professor who can complain that Hemingway’s 1920s and 1930s sensibilities would never be acceptable on the campus of Berkeley or Oberlin today. I would venture that most of us would happily flip through those pages without even bothering to read a word of them.

I love reading books from the past, and will never buy an edition by a publishing house that feels the need to add a Trigger Warning label or to “change language” to “protect” me from views or ideas people had in the past. Honestly, I’ll just stop purchasing any novels from that publishing house.

I live in Rome – I am constantly surrounded by the past. And – quelle surprise! –  most of what happened here 2000 years ago would not survive the contemporary Trigger Warning crowd. In fact, all of Greek and Roman mythology is one giant, glorious Trigger Warning … and I would argue that’s been one of its appeals over the millennia.

I’ll take uncensored Hemingway over modern virtue signaling any day.

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