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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 8 Jul 2003 09:41:32 -0500
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Are you only interested in the anti-Christian thoughts?  Or also the
pro-Christian thoughts and the quasi-Christian, pseudo-Christian,
somewhat-Christian, frequently-but-sometimes-not-Christian, and the
decidedly hypocritical-Christian thoughts?

I suggest it is best to work this issue from all sides.  I believe it is a
problem to think of Twain as merely "anti-christian"--whatever you might
mean by that term.  For example, several of Twain's characters are modelled
on Joe Twichell--as in Tramp Abroad--and he certainly loved and admired Joe.
Also, we should distinguish between the Christianity of, for instance, the
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson in AHF, right?  It is also probably wrong to
take the pessimism and nihilism of the last 14 years or so and project it
backwards onto the major works of fiction, willy-nilly.

Check out my footnotes in the _Historical Guide to MT_ (Oxford) for a sense
of the rather intimidating amount of materials on these topics.

Harold K. Bush
Saint Louis University