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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 20 Feb 2001 12:09:41 -0600
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I am interested in studying the effects of grief on Mark Twain.  I have
often noted the general lack of treatment of this subject in scholarly work
on Twain.  Typically (as throughout American Studies in general), work on
Twain's grief is broadly general and/or from a sort of old-fashioned
psychoanalytical perspective that says very little about how grief
personally affected and/or debilitated him.  In my view, Twain's grief was
particularly important in understanding the final 14 or so years of his
life --esp. after 1904, for instance, and/or in the devastating critiques
of God and Christianity in the autobiographical dictations;  What is Man?;
or Letters from the Earth.

My interest is in the practical effects of grief on Mark Twain.  I am
particularly interested in the effects of grief on authors/parents who have
lost children.  Any number of my favorite American authors besides Twain,
like Stowe, Lincoln, and Frost, have lost children, yet very little
scholarship (at least to my knowledge) deals in a frank and analytical way
with these traumas.

Does anyone know of such studies?

Harold K. Bush, Ph. D.
Saint Louis University