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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 10 Feb 2023 09:11:51 -0800
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There is a characteristic in some of the literary influences on Twain 
I’ve noticed. That is that the story is not finished, at least not until 
some later time. I’m thinking of the structure of the Arabian Nights 
tales and Scherazade. I’ve also noted this in the earliest version of 
the Tar baby story from the Gutenberg version of “Uncle Remus: His Songs 
and Sayings” (the second story in the collection). "Dat's all de fur de 
tale goes," replied the old man. "He mout, an den agin he moutent. “Some 
say Judge B'ar come 'long en loosed 'im—some say he didn't. I hear Miss 
Sally callin'. You better run 'long."

Harris doesn’t pick the storyup again until the fourth story. I can’t 
recall Twain ever directly employing this technique except for possible 
vestiges in such as Grandfather’s Old Ram or the Ascent of Mt. Vesuvius.

This is a part of “the framework structure” of story telling. I’ve been 
reading John H. Davis’ article, “The Shape of the Story:…” but I’m 
curious about Twain’s possible use of this one technique. I’ve read 
through the Oxford Edition but that doesn’t mean I’ve retained all that 

/Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/