For the upcoming 70th anniversary of James Bond, the original Ian Fleming novels are going to be re-released this April, but with an unwelcome changes to the original text in an effort to adhere to today’s “woke” sensibilities.
The novels, from Casino Royale to Octopussy, will be out this spring with some rewrites to remove any racial references and sexual content. Ian Fleming Publications, the owner of the literary rights to the works, had commissioned a review by “sensitivity readers.” Peter Caddle puts this in perspective at Breitbart.
The revelation comes after a week of controversy surrounding recent reprints of Roald Dahl’s books, with it being revealed that the works of fiction have been edited in order to change or remove language deemed problematic.
According to The Telegraph, this practice of editing problematic content, supposedly to appeal to modern audiences, has now extended to Fleming’s work, with so-called “sensitivity readers” being drafted in to examine the novels.
As a consequence, the 70th-anniversary edition reprints due out in April are to sport a number of major changes compared to the original, as well as a trigger warning at the beginning warning readers of each book’s contents.
“This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace,” the disclaimer will read.
References to the race and ethnicity of characters appear to have borne the brunt of the changes, with the use of terms deemed offensive or antiquated said to have been axed in favour of descriptors more befitting of modern progressive tastes.
Some sexual descriptors have also allegedly been reworked, with The Telegraph giving the example of one reference to a group of men ogling a woman doing a strip tease at a nightclub acting “like pigs at the trough” in Live and Let Die being axed.
A disclaimer will be added to the novels that reads: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”
Similar edits have been made recently to other previously released works including those of Roald Dahl including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I expect the publisher will do one last release of the original text novels in order to double-dip by grabbing some outrage cash too, much like the publisher of Roald Dahl’s books is doing, selling the newly censored books alongside the classics.
I recommend buying these classics on the secondary market.