It Never Existed, Lindström

Swedes burn books to sanitize the historical record…

of Pippi Longstocking.

The other day came the news that the library in Botkyrka municipality, on the outskirts of Stockholm, had burned older editions of one of the Pippi books, Pippi in the South Seas (1948), because local officials have decided that they “contain racism.”

After this action came to light, the municipality issued a press release acknowledging that the books had indeed been destroyed because they contained “obsolete expressions that can be perceived as racist” – but that they had been replaced on the library shelves by a 2015 edition of the book from which those expressions have been carefully scrubbed.

Problem solved?

Since Lindgren died in 2002, of course, she was not around to grant anybody the right to fiddle with her prose. Her publishers had simply taken it upon themselves to do to her work what a lot of people would love to do to, say, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Like Mark Twain, Lindgren was the very opposite of a racist. But her use of language in Pippi in the South Seas, like that in Huck Finn, violates the Left’s current ideological tests.

The news of the Botkyrka book-burning was first reported on a July 9 broadcast by investigative journalist Janne Josefsson, who appears to be one of the few level-headed practitioners of that profession left in Sweden. “When you burn books for ideological reasons,” Josefsson later told Expressen, “there’s something in me that says, wait a second now, are we really going to let these things disappear? Shouldn’t they be allowed to survive so that that I can explain to my child that this is how you talked in those days?”

To Big Left, history is just another egg to be broken to make the omelette.

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14 thoughts on “It Never Existed, Lindström

  1. Never much cared about Pippi until now…..maybe I’ll see if I can pick up Pippi at Amazon…

  2. IIRC, Pippi was an imaginary friend of fictional characters in a children’s book. We are censoring those, now.
    The parallels to other witch hunts in history are interesting. Even if you know that what you are doing is silly, you don’t dare not do it, or admit that it is foolishness, because that may lay you open to the charge of being suspiciously soft on witches/communists/non-conformists/racists or whatever. And they are right. You don’t want to be the person who is the first to stop applauding a speech by Stalin: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8272473.stm
    You can be the second, or third, or fiftieth person to stop applauding. But don’t be the first person to stop applauding.
    Always make certain that you can not be called the most racist or sexist person in a group of people dedicated to fighting racism and sexism. You can never be not racist enough.

  3. Evidently pneumatic tube transport has not been installed in Sweden’s libraries Ministry of Truth, yet. Expect that work to begin shortly.

  4. I just shot over to EBay and bought a 1963 edition of that book ($20..free shipping!). I will put it in my “Wrong Think \ Banned literature” section of my library with Tom Sawyer (1939 edition), Tropic of Cancer (First edition), To Kill a Mockingbird (1966 edition), The Catcher in the Rye, The Holy Bible (From my Confirmation) and the Satanic Verses (First edition).

  5. First they censored Looney Tune and MGM cartoons. Now, Pippi. What’s next, Blazing Saddles?

  6. JPA – I just replied to your comment about doctors under “Victimology.” Missing links, my fault, apologies.

  7. JPA: In the director’s cut of Blazing Saddles Mel Brooks tells how he had to go into the studio lots and recruit worker bees to come view his movie because the studio execs were ready to tell Brooks to take his movie and pack sand because of its “incorrectnesses.” The worker bees howled at it and the execs changed their mind. The rest is history.

  8. The editing to make politically correct is terrible and started at least 45 years ago. My high school English teacher ( a very liberated and liberal lady even 45 years ago) reported to us in my high school English class that she had bought a recent copy of “Hamlet.” When reading it she noticed that in the beginning of Act IV Scene 1 she noticed that the book changed the line ” Liver of blaspheming Jew.” My teacher was outraged that they would change Shakespeare’s words, truly outrated. She wrote a complaint letter to the publisher. Those were the days of honest liberals. My teacher also very carefully explained that the use of mankind/men etc. to speak of all humanity was very correct English and not sexist at all. Yes, there was sanity 45 years ago from liberals and I learned much under their tutelage. The modern breed…not so much.

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  10. Should conservatives demand that the movie The China Syndrome be banned because it shows an incorrect/false view of nuclear power? (that’s sarcasm, I do not support banning things)

  11. Mitch, have you been following the news out of Edina high school? The intense bigotry conservative students are having to deal with from left wing teachers.

  12. If the Right had any brains they would make major hay out Edina high school’s “issues.” LOL

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