Twainish

25 November 2010 at 19:27 Leave a comment

Twain’s autobiography is finally out and everyone is revisiting him:

Still more remarkable is that Twain’s reputational longevity is based on so few books. As John Sutherland, emeritus Lord Northcliffe professor of English at University College London, points out, “Huckleberry Finn has been largely off-limits in American schools and colleges because of Twain’s use of the word “nigger”, so most readers only know him for his aphorisms and Tom Sawyer. And even that is overrated. Dickens published 12 novels, any one of which can be argued to vindicate his status as Britain’s greatest. Where are Twain’s dozen? What makes him the ‘father’ of American fiction?”

First of all, many people do read Huckleberry Finn.  Secondly, his short stories are widely read in schools.  And third, his actual life is brought up ad infinitum, with a quick skip and jump over his desertion during the Civil War.  His life story is the thing that most people know the best.

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Entry filed under: reading, writing.

perspective Overheard XXIV

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What I’ve been reading:

  • James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. (London, 14 King William Street, Strand: William P. Nimmo, 1876). 3 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 3, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985). 4 years ago
  • Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). 4 years ago
  • Stephanie Kallos, Broken for You (New York: Grove Press, 2004). 4 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 2, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985) 4 years ago

T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.

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