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Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 2 Oct 1994 00:15:18 EDT
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The Mark Twain Forum needs a reviewer for the following book:

     Gregg Camfield, _Sentimental Twain: Samuel Clemens in the Maze of
     Moral Philosophy_ (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
     1994).  296 pp.  Cloth, ISBN 0-8122-3285-2, $34.95.

The deadline for the review would be two months after you receive it.
Reviews on the Forum should be of publishable quality.  You are free to
publish your review elsewhere, so long as (1) it appears first on the MT
Forum; and (2) subsequent publications (in print or electronic media)
acknowledge that your review (or an earlier version) appeared first on
the MT Forum.

This book is described by the jacket as follows:

     In _Sentimental Twain_, Gregg Camfield examines the major and minor
     works of Mark Twain to redraw the boundaries between sentimentalism
     and realism in the second half of the nineteenth century.
     Beginning by taking the reactions to the question of race in
     _Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_ as a test case, Camfield reveals
     that sentimental ethics persist, though buried, in American
     culture, and he argues that Americans' ambivalent responses to
     sentimentalism explain some of the continuing controversy
     surrounding Mark Twain's work.  Specifically, he contends, insofar
     as the liberal agenda remains substantially sentimental--especially
     when dealing with issues of race--today's readers of Twain
     participate in the same dialectic between sentimental compassion
     and realistic cynicism that Twain himself confronted.

     Camfield then traces the cultural development of this ethical
     dialectic and follows Mark Twain's reactions to it, showing that
     Twain was a closet sentimentalist whose public attacks on
     sentimentalism veiled a deep longing for a more compassionate
     world.  Throughout, _Sentimental Twain_ is grounded in a discussion
     of philosophical contexts of nineteenth-century American
     sentimental literature, paying particular attention to the Scottish
     Common Sense philosophers, but looking forward to the Pragmatism of
     William James.

Please send me a message with your snail-mail address if you're
interested in reviewing this book.

Taylor Roberts