Why Literature?

The point is raised regarding the new... ah... "translation" of Mark Twain. What is the point of literature?

For example, does the point include conveying a vision to your audience? If it does, is there some obligation on future scholars not to obscure that vision? Mark Twain -- who has come in for criticism here on other grounds -- did extraordinary work in exposing the ugliness of racial hatred. How bold should we be in walking away from what he gave us, to soothe our sensibilities? It was offending racial sensibilities that he intended all along: and we should not forget how powerful, and how good, was the effect.

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