By Peter Messent, Louis J. Budd
This broad-ranging significant other brings jointly revered American and ecu critics and a few up-and-coming students to supply an outline of Twain, his historical past, his writings, and his position in American literary history.
- One of the main broad-ranging volumes to seem on Mark Twain in contemporary years.
- Brings jointly revered Twain critics and a few more youthful students within the box to supply an outline of this primary determine in American literature.
- Places specific emphasis at the ways that Twain's works stay either appropriate and demanding for a twenty-first century audience.
- A concluding essay evaluates the altering panorama of Twain criticism.
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Extra info for A Companion to Mark Twain
Indeed, in our period of globalization and nationalist ethnic cleansing, when “postnationalism” runs up against post-9/11 patriotism, critical attention to Mark Twain directly engages the question of nation and Twain’s place in the international arena. Amy Kaplan’s The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of US Culture (2002) is perhaps the foremost example of such engagement. Paradigms for the study of US culture have had a national focus, Kaplan notes, which she aims to question and disrupt by opening the international context.
52). Kaplan’s readings of Twain’s early writings about Hawaii, especially, and her analysis of the complex relations between his exoticization of Hawaiians and his memories of slavery, work to situate Twain in her larger argument that the intricacies and contradictions of American imperial relations, and depictions of the foreign and the alien, helped shape “representations of American identity at home” (p. 1). ” Twain’s writing career, as well as the icon of Mark Twain as American, is shown to be suffused with the same sort of anarchy and ambiguity that characterized images of the world abroad.
62). African Americans who attacked the book, and Huck’s use of “nigger,” therefore managed to “challenge ‘us’ just where ‘we’ feel ourselves most intimately virtuous” (p. 13), and liberal literary experts accordingly lined up to defend the book’s anti-racism. In a manner similar to Forrest Robinson’s, Arac sees the novel as helping 18 Randall Knoper its readers evade problems of race relations by making them feel warm about their own anti-racist feelings; and he further sees the alignment of Twain and his book with the nation as intimately wedded to this complacency-breeding process.