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randall maple <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 08:21:28 -0700
text/plain (87 lines)
Twain spent his career with tongue in cheek and
delivered his stretchers between the lines.  With this
in mind, if might behoove all to look behind his
emphatic acknowledgment, "I am a Boxer." Considering
the word "box huckleberry" may need yet another
EXPLANATION and prove to be the tale wagging the dog.
--- randy abel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> To the the budding scholars, especially:
>   How did Twain's views on Chinese immigration and
> Sino-US relations evolve from his Frontier
> journalism days through the Boxer Rebellion and its
> aftermath?
>   Why did Twain leave the employ of the San
> Francisco Morning Call? What factors might have
> pushed him over the edge and what's the status of
> the scholarly debate on that issue? (You might begin
> by reading "The Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy",
>   What did Twain mean when he said "I am a Boxer"?
> How might we deconstruct the rhetorical complexities
> of that oft-quoted anti-imperialist speech? Can you
> recognize any common debate strategies which he
> might have been employing to highlight American
> hypocracies?
> (
>   What's the status of Martin Zehr's work on his
> book concerning MT and the Chinese?
>   The following passage was written by the late Jim
> Zwick in an email to the author on 15 November 2007:
>   I had a conversation with a high school teacher in
> China about Chinese interest in Mark Twain long
> before I had an interest in him or knew that he
> wrote anything about China. Chinese Studies was one
> of my majors as an undergrad, and I spent 1978-1979
> studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
> Because I happened to be there, I was among the
> first Americans able to go to China after the U.S.
> and China normalized relations. Most people who went
> into China at that time had to stick to the tours.
> Because I could speak a little Chinese, they let me
> wander around on my own a few times. One day I
> climbed one of the
> mountains in Guilin. A Chinese man noticed I was
> about to take the wrong path and pointed me in the
> right direction up the mountain. After he found I
> could speak Chinese, we ended up spending the
> afternoon together. Because U.S.-China relations
> were still pretty tense back then, he wanted to show
> me that Chinese did not hate Americans. To prove
> that, he brought me to his home where he had a
> Chinese translation of Huckleberry Finn that he was
> teaching in his classes. He also noted the
> comparison with Lu Xun, who I happened to be reading
> at the time for a Chinese Literature class I was
> taking. He didn't speak English and I could barely
> speak Chinese -- definitely not enough to hold an
> academic discussion -- so that discussion didn't go
> very far but the interest in Huckleberry Finn as
> realist literature and a portrayal of both racial
> and class oppression stuck with me.
>   Randy Abel
>   Yantai University, China
> ---------------------------------
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