By Mark Twain
Those brief fiction and prose items demonstrate the range of Twain's imaginitive invention, his assorted abilities, and his awesome emotional diversity. Twain used to be a grasp of almost each prose style; in fables and tales, speeches and essays, he skilfully tailored, prolonged or satirized literary conventions, guided in basic terms through his unruly mind's eye. From the comedian wit that glints in maxims from 'Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar,' to the parodic perfection of 'An lousy - negative Medieval Romance,' to the satirical delights of The Innocents out of the country and Roughing It; from the nice and cozy nostalgia of 'Early Days' to the sour, brooding tone of 'The guy That Corrupted Hadleyburg' to the anti-imperial vehemence of 'To the individual Sitting within the Darkness' and the poignant grief expressed in 'Death of Jean', Twain emerges during this quantity in lots of guises, all touched by means of genius.
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Extra resources for Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches
Rev. , 1960. —, and Hamlin Hill. America’s Humor: From Poor Richard to Doonesbury. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Branch, Edgar M. The Literary Apprenticeship of Mark Twain, With Selections from His Apprentice Writing. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1950. Budd, Louis J. Mark Twain: Social Philosopher. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962. Covici, Pascal, Jr. Mark Twain’s Humor: The Image of a World. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1962. Cox, James M. Mark Twain: The Fate of Humor.
Barnum is a lovable fraud, after all, and Barnum’s decision to run for Congress in 1867 automatically suggested the possibilities of conflating shameless and crass self-promotion with political bombast. “Cannibalism in the Cars” is far more grotesque and was likely based on his recollection of a group of Illinois legislators who were snowbound in 1855 and who ate dogs to survive. ” The crude detachment of a Western humorist looking as if for the first time at ancient and historically sponsored institutions provided its own sort of comedy.
This insistence upon minute and keen attention cuts against the grain of abstract principle and philosophic credo. The literary critic Kenneth Burke, who had some gifts for humor and satire himself, once remarked upon his own paradoxical role as observer and analyst: I speak in my role as Wandering Scholar, which is to say: half experimental animal, half control group. I am mine own disease. The terms of this implicit contradiction appear in Twain in many forms, and at times his desire for independence and his troubled awareness of his complicity in a social order he often despised constituted his own special disease.