The world bestselling book "Ten Little Indians" by British writer Agatha Christie will be reissued in France. According to radio station RTL, the novel will receive a new title - "There were ten of them."
The decision to rename the book was made by the great-grandson of the writer James Pritchard, who heads Agatha Christie Limited, which owns the rights to Christie's works. Pritchard emphasized that the novel uses expressions that are irrelevant for the present time, which can hurt the feelings of readers.
“When this book was written, the language was different, and words were used that are now forgotten,” explained a relative of the writer. He stressed that the piece is based on a popular children's song, which was not authored by Agatha Christie.
“I think that Agatha Christie wanted first of all to entertain people, and the thought that her speech turns offend someone, she probably would not like. Fortunately, now we can fix this, make everything acceptable to everyone without distorting the meaning. In my opinion, this is reasonable: I would not want the headline to distract attention from her work. If even one person feels resentment because of this, it will already be too much! We should no longer use words that may offend someone, and this is how we need to behave in 2020, ”RTL quotes Prichard.
The grandson of the writer noted that in the United States the book was originally published under a different title ("Ten Little Indians"; "And there was no one left. - RT ), and in the 1980s it was renamed in the UK.
At the moment, France is one of the last countries to publish a book with the original title. And it was because of him that the book was removed from Amazon's French branch last May.
In the republished work, not only the title will change: the text itself will undergo correction. According to the CEO of the publishing house Livre de Poche Beatrice Duval, the word "negrityata", which is mentioned on the pages of the book 74 times, will be replaced by "soldiers". Accordingly, the events of the updated novel will unfold not on the Negro Island, but on the Soldier Island.
Agatha Christie novel with the original title Ten Little Niggers was first published in 1939. It has been translated into over 50 languages. This book made the writer the best-selling novelist of all time.
The work has been filmed many times. The first film adaptation titled "And There Was No One Left" appeared in 1945. The film was directed by Rene Claire. In subsequent years, several more paintings were released, inspired by the novel by Agatha Christie. Russian director Stanislav Govorukhin worked on one of them - a two-part film "Ten Little Indians". The film premiered in 1987.
The latest film adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel is the 2020 French mini-series There Were Ten.
The situation with Agatha Christie's novel is not the first time in recent years that large projects have suffered due to accusations of "racism".
In early June 2020, director and screenwriter John Ridley posted a column on the Los Angeles Times, claiming that the iconic 1939 film Gone with the Wind reflected racial stereotypes that were typical of those years, but not relevant today. He called on streaming service HBO Max to remove the film from its catalog and return it, along with material that explains the historical context. The site supported the idea and temporarily hid the film. Two weeks later, the tape was again available on the site, accompanied by videos in which experts explain the ideas broadcast in it.
Even earlier, the "racist" subtext was found in the old animated films of the Disney studio: "Dumbo", "Peter Pan", "Lady and the Tramp", "The Jungle Book", "Aristocratic Cats" and others. Disney + Video Service has added a warning about "cultural obsolete" to the feed.