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Current Mark Twain bibliography.

Current Mark Twain Bibliography is a means of giving notice of what's new in Mark Twain scholarship. Where annotations are used, they are in most cases descriptive blurbs provided by publishers (or in some cases, by authors) with value judgments edited out. If you have recently published something that you would like to have included in Current Mark Twain Bibliography, send it to me by e-mail (leonardj@citadel.edu), or by other means.

Books

Hurm, Gerd. Rewriting the Vernacular Mark Twain: The Aesthetics and Politics of Orality in Samuel Clemens's Fictions. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2003. $29.50. ISBN 3-88476-577-9.

Krauth, Leland. Mark Twain & Company: Six Literary Relations. University of Georgia Press, 2003. Cloth. $34.95. In this comparison of Mark Twain with six of his literary contemporaries, Leland Krauth looks anew at the writer's multifaceted creativity. Twain, a highly lettered man immersed in the literary culture of his time, viewed himself as working within a community of writers. He likened himself to a guild member whose work was the crafted product of a common trade--and sometimes made with borrowed materials. Yet there have been few studies of Twain in relation to his fellow guild members. In Mark Twain & Company, Krauth examines some creative "sparks and smolderings" ignited by Twain's contact with certain writers, all of whom were published, read, and criticized on both sides of the Atlantic: the Americans Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, and Harriet Beecher Stowe and the British writers Matthew Arnold, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling. Each chapter explores the nature of Twain's personal relationship with a writer as well as the literary themes and modes they shared. Krauth looks at the sentimentality of Harte and Twain and its influence on their protest fiction; the humor and social criticism of Twain and Howells; the use of the Gothic by Twain and Stowe to explore racial issues; the role of Victorian Sage assumed by Arnold and Twain to critique civilization; the exploitation of adventure fiction by Twain and Stevenson to reveal conceptions of masculinity; and the use of the picaresque in Kipling and Twain to support or subvert imperialism. Mark Twain & Company casts new light on some of the most enduring writers in English. At the same time it refreshes the debate over the transatlantic nature of Victorianism with new insights about nineteenth-century morality, conventionality, race, corporeality, imperialism, manhood, and individual identity.

Kirk, Connie Ann. Mark Twain: A Biography. Greenwood Press. 140 pages. Laminated hardcover. ISBN 0-313-33025-5. $29.95. Aimed at high school students and general readers. Supplemental materials include a chronology, Clemens family tree, selected quotations, and listings of important places and holdings in Mark Twain studies.

Leon, Philip. Nanny Wood: From Washington Belle to Portland's Grande Dame. Heritage Books, 2003. Paper. 282 pages. ISBN: 0-7884-2440-8. Includes accounts of Twain's contacts with Mrs. Wood and her husband, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, at West Point in 1881-82. $29.00.

Meltzer, Milton. Mark Twain Himself: A Pictorial Biography. University of Missouri Press, 2002. 320 pages. $39.95. Mark Twain's life--one of the richest and raciest America has known--is portrayed in this mosaic of words and more than 600 pictures that capture the career of one of America's most colorful personalities. The words are Twain's own, taken from his writings--not only the autobiography but also his letters, notebooks, newspaper reporting, sketches, travel pieces, and fiction. The illustrations provide the perfect counterpoint to Twain's text. Presented in the hundreds of photos, prints, drawings, cartoons, and paintings is Twain himself, from the apprentice in his printer's cap to the dying world-famous figure finishing his last voyage in a wheelchair. [Text from dust jacket.]

Railton, Stephen. Mark Twain: A Short Introduction. Blackwell, 2003. 144 pages. Paper. $19.95. This book introduces Mark Twain through close readings of seven major works, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. Railton investigates the tension between the real-life person, Samuel Clemens, and the fictional person, Mark Twain, provides a reading of Twain's obsession with performance and popularity, and analyzes the significance of Twain's books for American culture and identity. Illustrated with images from first editions of Twain's works. A short appendix directs readers to the author's excellent website on "Mark Twain in his Times."

Rasmussen, R. Kent. Mark Twain for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 Activities. Chicago Review Press. 160 pages. $14.95. ISBN 1-55652-527-3. The book's comprehensive biographical information explores Mark Twain as a multitalented man of his times, from his childhood in the rough-and-tumble West of Missouri to his many careers--steamboat pilot, printer, miner, inventor, world traveler, businessman, lecturer, newspaper reporter, and most important, author--and how these experiences influenced his writing. Twain-inspired activities include making printer's type, building a model paddlewheel boat, unmasking a hoax, inventing new words, cooking cornpone, planning a newspaper, observing people, and writing maxims. An extensive resource section offers information on Twain's classics, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as well as a listing of recommended web sites to explore.

Twain, Mark. Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race. Edited by Lin Salamo, Victor Fischer, and Michael B. Frank. University of California Press, 2004. 256 pages. 36 black and white photographs. ISBN 0-520-24245-9. $19.95. This handbook--an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race--contains sixty-nine aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain's private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars. Culled from Twain's personal letters, autobiographical writings, speeches, novels, and sketches, these pieces are bursting with Twain's characteristic ebullience for life. They also remind us exactly how Mark Twain came to be the most distinctive and well-known American literary voice in the world. These texts, some of them new or out of print for decades, have been selected and prepared by the editors at the Mark Twain Project

Twain, Mark. The Portable Mark Twain. Edited by Tom Quirk. Penguin, 2004. Paper. 589 pages. ISBN 0-14-243775-1. $17.00. Replaces the 1946 edition of Bernard DeVoto.

Twain, Mark. Tales of Wonder. Edited with an Introduction by David Ketterer. Bison Books, 2003. 419 pages. Paper. ISBN 0803294522. $19.95. Mark Twain's unsettling imagination and passionate curiosity roamed far and wide--racing across microscopic worlds and interstellar voids, leaping ahead to fearful futures, and speculating on dazzling inventions to come. Tales of Wonder features some of the most notable but little-known science fiction available, penned by the famed American humorist and writer. With characteristic wit and acuity, Twain embarks on an epic journey into a drop of water, catches a glimpse of an invisible man, reveals a generation-starship-type world in the heart of a drifting iceberg, and imagines futuristic devices of instantaneous communication such as the "phrenophone" and "telelectroscope." Twain pioneered the use of time travel to the past in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. As for the future, he envisioned a radical utopia of absolute suffrage and future histories in which a global theocracy holds sway or a monarchy rules America. This entertaining and absorbing collection of tales reminds us that the former steamboat pilot dreamed about the stars, anticipated and dreaded the future, and above all was continually surprised and enchanted by the world around him. [Text from dust jacket.]

Wolfson, Nicholas. Huckleberry Finn: Antidote to Hate. Xlibris, 2003. Huck, Jim and Tom are American immortals. They resonate in the popular culture and, at the same time, provoke the continual concern and interest of intellectuals in the academic community. When the book was first published, and for years thereafter, many critics complained about the baleful influence the delinquent Huck, with his use of bad language, and skepticism about religion, would have on good God-fearing American White boys. They did not sufficiently focus on the issue of race raised by the book. In recent decades many scholars and educators have severely criticized the book as a bigoted tract that portrays a subservient Jim and repetitively uses racist language. This book answers those more recent concerns. It demonstrates the toughness and humanity of Jim. Professor Wolfson points out how Jim educates Huck and treats him with love. He sets forth the ways in which Jim's fundamental humanity awakens Huck to the degradation of his surroundings and leads him to the famous chapter where Huck resolves to go to Hell rather than betray Jim.

Ziff, Larzer. Mark Twain. Oxford University Press, 2004. Cloth. 126 pages. ISBN 0195170199. Mark Twain emerges in this book as something of a paradox. His humor made him rich and famous, but he was unhappy with the role of humorist. He satirized the rapacious economic practices of his society, yet was caught up in those very practices himself. He was a literary genius who revolutionized the national literature, yet was unable to resist whatever quirky notion or joke crossed his mind, often straying from his plot or contradicting his theme. Ziff offers a lively account of Twain's early years, explores all his major fiction, and concludes with a consideration of his craftsmanship and his strength as a cultural critic. He offers particularly telling insight into Twain's travel writings, providing for example an insightful account of Following the Equator, perhaps Twain's most underrated work. Throughout the book, Ziff examines Twain's writings in light of the literary cultures of his day--from frontier humorists to Matthew Arnold--and of parallel literary works of his time--comparing, for example, A Connecticut Yankee with major utopian works of the same decade. Thus the book is a work both of literary criticism and of cultural history.

Articles

Blount, Roy, Jr. "Mark Twain's Skeleton Novelette." The Atlantic Monthly 288.1 (July-August 2001): 49-51.

Blount, Roy, Jr. "Mark Twain's Reconstruction: "'A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage' and Its Moment in History." The Atlantic Monthly 288.1 (July-August 2001): 69-81.

Budd, Louis J. "Mark Twain and the Sense of Racism." Prospects: An Annual of American Culture Studies. 25 (2000): 151-58.

Oggel, L. Terry. "Speaking Out about Race: 'The United States of Lyncherdom' Clemens Really Wrote." Prospects: An Annual of American Culture Studies. 25 (2000): 115-38.

Silva, Reinaldo Francisco. "Mark Twain and the 'Slow, Poor, Shiftless, Sleepy, and Lazy' Azoreans in The Innocents Abroad." The Journal of American Culture 26.1 (2003): 17-23.

Reigstad, Tom. "The House of Twain: 472 Delaware." Western New York Heritage 7.2 (Summer 2004): 18-29. An account, with photographs, of Twain's residence in Buffalo (1870-71).

Twain, Mark. "A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage." The Atlantic Monthly 288.1 (July-August 2001): 54-64.

Audio CDs

Mark Twain's Letters from Hawaii. Read by McAvoy Layne. Audio Partners. 3 CDs; 3 hrs, 9 min. $24.95. ISBN 1-57270-428-4.

James S. Leonard

The Citadel
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Author:Leonard, James S.
Publication:Mark Twain Circular
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:1798
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