From the Publisher
"The Bible According to Mark Twain helps us in the process of rediscovering or reinventing Mark Twain by engaging our question about where this figure came from, what forces shaped him, what he means, and why he speaks to and for Americans especially.”--College Literature
"Baetzhold and McCullough have delivered a great boon to lovers of Mark Twain. In providing for both those Biblical writings which Twain considered publishable and those that then seemed too potentially offensive for publication, they have enabled us to gain a fuller comprehension of the very complex author. In providing the original form as well as revised versions of published material, they have enabled us to observe the artist at work and thus to gain a deeper insight into the nature of his art. And in making their explanatory materials so readable and readily accessible, they made the pursuit of Mark Twain studies thoroughly enjoyable."--Mark Twain Society
"A collection that offers readers a fascinating panoply of wit, satire, farce, fantasy, lyricism, heresy, the sardonic, and the controversial."--Booklist
"The present collection—spanning four decades (1871-1910)—is both a genuine service to Twain lovers and one showing Twain at his most charming and witty."--Kirkus Reviews
The editors of this book have serious reason to believe that the Bible influenced Mark Twain more than any other book as his beliefs progressed from Presbyterianism through deism and on to Darwinian determinism. They scoured 40 years of his writings to compile an anthology of both unpublished and newly edited works, complete with appendixes of related pieces, in which Twain dealt with biblical figures, themes, or settings. The result is a fascinating contribution to the Twain canon in which we see him wrestle with the God-man relationship and take provocative stabs at the Bible's inconsistencies. Twain's styles here are as arresting as his content as he moves from biblical rhythms and rhetoric to the Pepysian bombast of the author he was reading when he wrote "Methuselah's Diary." Twain aficionados will revel in such episodes as Shem and his family sitting up all night signing autographs for their now-famous dad, Noah, while Methuselah pouts that he was not selected to build the infamous ark. A collection that offers readers a fascinating panoply of wit, satire, farce, fantasy, lyricism, heresy, the sardonic, and the controversial.
Brings together 15 works that reveal Twain's lifelong attempts to deal--both humorously and seriously--with traditional religious concepts. The introduction to each selection tells when and how Twain came to write and publish--or fail to publish or to finish--the piece. All of the works have been newly edited from the manuscripts, where available. The endnotes provide valuable supplementary information. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)