Littery Man: Mark Twain and Modern Authorship / Edition 1

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As Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens straddled the conflicts between culture and commerce that characterized the era he named the Gilded Age. In "Littery Man", Richard Lowry examines how Twain used these conflicts in his major texts to fashion an "autobiography of authorship," a narrative of his own claims to literary authority at that moment when the American Writer emerged as a profession. Drawing on wide range of cultural genres—popular boys' fiction, childbearing manuals, travel narratives, autobiography, and criticism and fiction of the period—Lowry reconstructs how Twain participated in remaking the "literary" into a powerful social category of representation. He shows how, as one of our cultures first modern celebrities, Samuel Clemens transformed his life into the artful performance we have come to know as Mark Twain, and his texts into a searching critique of modern identity in a mass-mediated society. "Littery Man" will appeal to both Twain scholars and to scholars and students of nineteenth-century American literature and culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lowry gives new, careful readings of Twain's work and raises many questions concerning Twain's use of humor and his narrative power, the authority of autobiography in his works, and the power of truth versus the authority of writing. Original ideas stud every page."—Choice

"Clearly, this book deserves a careful reading. The author's insights and his exhaustive command of the material merit the attention of all Twainians and indeed if any person devoted to nineteenth-century American literature."—Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

College of William and Mary
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Mark Twain's Autobiographies of Authorship 3
1 "Littery Man": The Rhetoric of Authorship 16
2 Consuming Desire: The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It 44
3 A "Rightly Constructed Boy's Life": The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 76
4 "By the Book": Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 112
Coda: "Speaking from the Grave" 148
Notes 151
Index 173
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