This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.Just so no-one thinks I've gone and picked out the most racist, sexist etc. texts I could find, I should point out that the books in question are Sickness Unto Death and Purity of Heart Is To Will One Thing by Søren Kierkegaard*. Kierkegaard is not generally known for his bigotry. Therefore, I assume they put this warning on the inside of every book they publish that was written before, well, "today", whenever that is for the purposes of "views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations".
There are two questions I would like to pose about the substance of this warning:
- How on Earth can Wilder pretend to know what values these books would reflect if they were written today?
- Is fitting in to the contemporary climate of opinon virtuous in itself?
- They can't
- If so, then surely these book's being "products of [their] time" makes them virtuous. If not, then it cannot be right to protect children from opinions outside our own climate of opinion.
* It's bad enough that they spelled his name "Sören Kierkegaard" on the front cover. I can't read Danish, but still I consider it very unlikely indeed that the letters "ø" and "ö" are interchangeable in that language.