Coming to Grips With Huckleberry Finn

Coming to Grips With Huckleberry Finn Essays on a Book, a Boy, and a Man

(30 Nov 1993)

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Synopsis

In "Coming to Grips with Huckleberry Finn", Tom Quirk traces the history of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" from its inception in 1876 to its problematic presence in today's American culture. By approaching Twain's novel from several quite different perspectives, Quirk reveals how the author's imagination worked and why this novel has affected so many people for so long and in so many curious ways.;The variety of approaches to the novel in these essays demonstrates that there are many ways to come to grips with "Huckleberry Finn". In the introduction, Quirk offers a summary of the significant changes in our understanding of the novel that have resulted from the discovery of over 600 manuscript pages in California. He then inquires into the genesis of the book and measures the author's imaginative involvement with his hero by studying the novel in the context of Twain's autobiographical writings. Quirk also explores Twain's ambivalent relationship to another of the novel's characters, the escaped slave, Jim. He examines the special association Huckleberry Finn bears to 19th-century realism and contemplates the double legacy the book has bequeathed to later American writers, including Willa Cather, Ring Lardner and Langston Hughes. Finally, he asks, "Is 'Huckleberry Finn' politically correct?" and measures the book against current ideological opinion.;The book offers a lucid history of the imagination of Mark Twain as it is disclosed in "Huckleberry Finn", a book that has had diverse effects on readers and writers for over 100 years. "Coming to Grips with 'Hucklebery Finn'" should be valuable to students and scholars of American literature.

Book information

ISBN: 9780826209207
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Imprint: University of Missouri Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 813.4
DEWEY edition: 20
Language: English
Number of pages: 167
Weight: -1g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 25mm