Monday, March 13, 2023

A Word On The Bond Edits

For those who haven't heard, James Bond is celebrating his 70th Anniversary this year and rather than a new movie that's going to feature 100 callbacks to prior films whether they make sense or not, we're going to be getting reprints of all the original Ian Flemming books... except not really.

Apparently, there's word that the new reprints are going to be edited for content - presumably to remove or perhaps rework certain wording that might not be "appropriate" for modern sensibilities. Naturally, this has caused some people cry foul and throw out accusations of censorship and changing the original works without the consent of the original author... although I'd imagine the Fleming estate or whoever was in charge of Mr. Fleming's holdings would have approved such edits before any announcement was made in regards to said re-releases.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I can understand the desire to present a version of these novels that can be read by anyone without any possible fear of controversy. Those books were written during a time when certain attitudes and wordings were commonplace and more widely tolerated, if not outright accepted. I'm saying that to be the case; this is WAY before my time, but I would have to assume that's the case. So I can understand the desire to present these classic stories in a way that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.

On the other hand, just the fact that these works are being edited at all does not sit well with me. Not just in the sense of censorship - which is also a grave concern - but it raises the question as to how much of the work you're reading was written by the original author and how much of it was edited for content. I fear that it eventually gets to the point where we might be getting heavily edited editions of these books that may be nothing but edited for content text with nothing of the original author's work remaining. It's almost like taking a bunch of scenes from a movie, shot with a certain intention, and then somebody else reworks those scenes to be completely different.

I am not telling you to either condemn or condone this practice. I'm only offering my five cents on the matter. Am I concerned about this practice being the new standard for literary works in the future? Certainly. Do I think this is going to be a major issue going forward? Absolutely. Is there anything we can do about it? Not really. I could suggest if you don't want to support these things, don't give these people your money... but the reality is that if you don't buy it, somebody else will. And a franchise like James Bond is no doubt going to sell some books on name value alone without a care as to whether the work is representative of the original author's writings.

I guess we'll have to see.

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