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John Updike
Keeping literature dirty
Keeping literature dirty

I was almost sorry to see the developers of the Clean Reader app — which would have allowed squeamish or morally didactic readers to remove profanity from books — take “immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue” last week, in response to authors outraged about their work being expurgated. Not because I want my literature tampered with, but because the issues raised, about who owns a piece of writing, remain pressing and relevant. For anyone who hasn’t been following along, Clean Reader is the brainchild of Jared and Kirsten Maugham, a Christian couple who created a filtering program after their daughter “objected” to language she...