There's been much hew and cry about the "n" word in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and about how removing the offensive word from the text so that it can be taught in schools is prefereable to not teaching it at all.
I couldn't disagree more. With or without the "n" word, we should not be teaching Huck Finn. We live in times such that we are too stupid, too immature, too politically correct, to teach it properly. And if we can't teach it properly, we shouldn't teach it at all.
Huckleberry Finn should not be ruined for readers who are mature enough to read it later on (as the novel Wuthering Heights was ruined for me when I had to read it in the 6th Grade, at an age when I had no sense of the powerful emotions that suffused it, and simply thought the whole thing was a silly, overwrought hoot).
Update: For once I agree with the NYT--"There is no way to 'clean up' Twain without doing irreparable harm to the truth of his work."