From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 05 Aug 2002

Mark DJ:

<<That phrase is used throughout the Harlem Cycle. Mother-raper actually sounds worse to me than what it replaces. Due to the ubiquity of motherfucker now, it often seems more punctuation than a curse.>>

I don't think Himes used "moter-raper" to circumvent censorship. I suspect this was a favorite term of his. Maybe it was common in his formative years, though I have never seen it used anywhere. As Mark says, "mother-raper" is not quaint, it is at least as offensive as
"motherfucker", and it calls attention to itself, so it would fail as a euphemism or cloak. Himes doesn't shy away from foul language. His characters have a full repertoire and use it well.

I am having deja vu about this discussion but I'm too lazy to look it up in the archives.



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