TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 08:51:51 -0500
text/plain (30 lines)

Just a quick word on the Mysterious Stranger symposium last weekend, in
Elmira.  Again, the Elmirans were great hosts, and I send out another thank
you.  The trees were in a jolly and colorful mood, and the weather was
perfect.  The brand new statue of Livy is on display in the same courtyard
as Sam.  And the flights to and from Philly were almost bearable.

Joe and Chad did a great job putting the package together, and I look
forward to the book coming out, next year from Missouri Press.  The
consensus seems to be that 44 is now widely considered a major achievement
of Twain's final years.  How that came to be is a funny and enlightening
process over many years:  Alan Gribben gave a masterful and very complete
outline of the story's complicated history and reception, which I believe is
a summary of his introduction to the Missouri volume.

Personally I find the book interesting but tough to teach.  I would welcome
any comments or anecdotal evidence either pro or con that view.  I taught it
once, and found that some students adored it, most disliked it, and several
actively loathed it -- not unlike certain other books that I have used
exactly once in the classroom, such as Gibson's NEUROMANCER.  Though a few
brash and roguish students loved Gibson, most thought it was impenetrable

(I am not calling 44 hogwash, but just wondering:  Am I being unfair to

Harold K. Bush
Saint Louis University