France was one of the last countries in the world to still use the original title of "Ten little niggers" for the famous novel by Agatha Christie. This will no longer be the case. The detective novel will now be titled "They were ten", revealed on RTL Wednesday morning.
INFO RTL - Don't call it "Ten little niggers" anymore. Agatha Christie's novel changes title and appears today in a revised version, exit the word "nigger". https://t.co/MHZB2YKvLy- RTL France (@RTLFrance) August 26, 2020
As for the word "nègre", cited 74 times in the original version of the story, it no longer appears at all in the new edition translated by Gérard de Chergé. And the island where the plot takes place - initially "the island of the negro" - becomes in the new version "the island of the soldier".
The choice is assumed by the heir of the novelist, James Prichard, who made the decision to rename this novel. "My opinion is that Agatha Christie was there primarily to entertain and she wouldn't have liked the idea of someone being hurt by one of her turns of phrase [...]. It makes sense for me: I wouldn't want a headline that distracts from their work. If one person felt that way, it would be too much! We no longer need to use terms that are likely to hurt, "said James Prichard on RTL.
Title changed decades ago in the United States
For its French publisher, it's a way of adapting to the times. "When the book was written, the language was different and we used words that are now forgotten," Gérard de Chergé, who runs Le Masque, the company that owns the literary and media rights of Agatha Christie's works, told radio. .
The novel, written in 1938 by Agatha Christie and published in French in 1940, tells of the death trap set for ten characters summoned to a mysterious island ... "L'île du nègre" to be murdered. The original title is "Ten Little Niggers" in English. But in the United States, the novel has now been published under the title "And Then There Were None" for several decades.
Adapted for film and television, the book has sold over 100 million copies. "It's one of the greatest hits of all time, it's his biggest hit and it's the best-selling crime book in history," said James Prichard.
"Inculture triumphs and reigns"
The announcement of the change of title of Agatha Christie's novel has provoked many reactions on social networks.
"A few months ago, there were thousands of people laughing heartily at the uneducated who were indignant at this title. From now on, inculture triumphs and reigns. # Dixpetitsnègres", posted the philosopher Raphaël Enthoven on his account. twitter.
A few months ago still, there were thousands of us laughing heartily at the uneducated people who were indignant at this title.
Henceforth, inculture triumphs and reigns. # dixpetitsnègres https://t.co/MlG7UQyZw3
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