I just have a few comments/ questions for LIST-members about the posting
from Reuters about the Ken Burns film:
The piece emphasizes Connecticut's funding for the film; the article
states that Twain "lived in a Victorian mansion in Hartford from 1874 to
1891, where he wrote his most famous books, including ``The Adventures of
Sawyer'' (1876) and ``Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' (1884)." It also
claims that "The concept of the film, Dombroskas said, ``is that the Mark
Twain House was really the center of Twain's thinking, during the most
productive part of his life.''
I am a bit troubled by the connection of the funding with these
questionable biographical claims, esp. in light of the state's proclaimed
interest in building tourism. I hate to be a hair-splitter; but the books
mentioned were mostly written in Elmira, if I am not mistaken. Further,
how do LIST-members respond to the state's argument that the Hartford home
was the "center" of Twain's thinking throughout this period? Much of the
charm of Twain, for me, is the way his thinking resisted such centering;
in any case, he travelled extensively throughout this period and frequently
spent the majority of his time elsewhere. . . . but again, maybe these
amount only to more split hairs.
I suppose I bring this up (as a true Twainian) only to question the
government funding and its more sinister implications for the creation of a
biography to be viewed by thousands of Americans. Any comments??
Dr. Harold K. Bush, Jr.
Saint Louis University