Merry Tales (1892)

Merry Tales (1892)

by Mark Twain
     
 

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This collection of captivating tales displays Twain's characteristic energy, imagination, and sense of fun, as well as the darkly satirical edge that marks so much of his work. His targets range from the difficulty of learning German (explored in a three-act play where two young lovers are obliged to conduct their courtship in beginning German), to the…  See more details below

Overview


This collection of captivating tales displays Twain's characteristic energy, imagination, and sense of fun, as well as the darkly satirical edge that marks so much of his work. His targets range from the difficulty of learning German (explored in a three-act play where two young lovers are obliged to conduct their courtship in beginning German), to the incompetence of military command (found in a sketch called "Luck" in which it is revealed that a celebrated general's most lauded battle stratagem resulted from his confusing his right hand with his left). The best-known story in this collection is "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed," one of the few pieces Twain ever wrote about his experiences in the Civil War. His friend William Dean Howells found it "immensely amusing, with such a bloody bit of heartache in it." As Anne Bernays writes in her introduction, "unmatched in the care and handling of tone," "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed" is "a merry tale about shattered innocence and slaughter, an antiwar manifesto that is also confession, dramatic monologue...and a romp that gradually turns into atrocity even as we watch." It is a small masterpiece.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195101423
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/05/1996
Series:
Oxford Mark Twain Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.63(w) x 8.69(h) x 0.92(d)

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