Mark Twain and the Novel: The Double-Cross of Authority

Overview

Mark Twain was an author both drawn to and suspicious of authority, and his novels reflect this tension. Marked by disruptions, repetitions, and contradictions, they exemplify the ideological standoff between the American ideal of individual freedom and the reality of social control. This book provides a fresh look at Twain's major novels such as Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The difficulties in these works are shown to be neither flaws nor failures, ...

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Overview

Mark Twain was an author both drawn to and suspicious of authority, and his novels reflect this tension. Marked by disruptions, repetitions, and contradictions, they exemplify the ideological standoff between the American ideal of individual freedom and the reality of social control. This book provides a fresh look at Twain's major novels such as Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The difficulties in these works are shown to be neither flaws nor failures, but rather intrinsic to both the structure of the American novel and the texture of American culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an important book, exemplary of the rich, synthesizing possibilities in XIX-century American history and culture, American fiction, Mark Twain's key roles in both, the useful but usually inadequate perspectives of conventional Twain scholarship, and literary theory, European and American. Within 229 pages of text and 27 notes, Howe has embraced a wide horizon, giving fresh demonstration of the literary cultural resources of American studies." American Studies
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Mark Twain's Big Two-Hearted River text; 2. Catching Mark Twain's drift; 3. Reinventing and circumventing history; 4. Twaining is everything.

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