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"Ballard, Terry" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 16:18:24 -0500
text/plain (18 lines)
I would dispute the idea that Twain is treated as a saint in this forum.
We admire the man and/or his writing or we wouldn't be here. Anyone
familiar with his life on the Nevada frontier knows that his
canonization was revoked fairly early in life. His remarks about the
"James Fennimore Cooper Indians" in the Innocents Abroad prove that he
did, at times, look down on others. My take on Twain is that he had
racist impulses and he fought those demons furiously. He was human. He
liked to say that being human was bad enough - you don't have to pile on
any further insults.

Disclaimer: I have written peer-review articles and spoken at
conferences, but only in my field of library science, so my connection
with Twain is strictly one of being an enthusiast.

Terry Ballard
New York Law School, Mendik Library
New York, NY, 10013