Saturday, February 23, 2019

About Conrad and Disneyland

Two things I learned this week.

1. When Joseph Conrad’s novella The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ was first published in the United States it was re-titled The Children of the Sea; not because potential readers might find the original title offensive but because if they knew it was about a black person they probably wouldn’t want to read it.

2. When Tokyo Disneyland first opened in 1983, rival theme park operators nicknamed it kurofune, a reference to the American “black ships” that forced Japan to open up to the wider world in the 19th century.

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