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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 22 Aug 2018 13:30:48 +0000
text/plain (94 lines)
thanks Matthew, that's very helpful.  50 shades of grey over Henry James pretty much puts the selection process in a nutshell!

To be honest, as much as I find it funny to think about such improbabilities of Notebook over Scarlet Letter, it is good to see, and then take seriously what actual readers are actually reading these days.  Maybe we can see it as a cautionary tale against literary snobbery??

Dr. Hal Bush

Dept. of English

Saint Louis University

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author website:

From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Matthew Seybold <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 8:09:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "Great" American Reads


1.) Twain is represented on the list, by Tom Sawyer, and no author is =
represented by more than one work. If they were, I imagine Huck =
would=E2=80=99ve been included. So the question is really about the =
superiority of Huck Finn over Tom Sawyer as =E2=80=9CAmerica=E2=80=99s =
Best-Loved Novel.=E2=80=9D=20

2.) The 100 novels were chosen, according to PBS, via =E2=80=9Ca =
demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov.=E2=80=9D=
 I haven=E2=80=99t looked at the details of how the survey was =
conducted, but protesting Huckleberry Finn=E2=80=99s exclusion is =
tantamount to protesting the poor taste of the American populace. I =
mean, E. L. James is on this list and Henry James is not. The Notebook =
is in, but not The Scarlet Letter. I don=E2=80=99t think PBS is making =
any claims about quality, historical influence, etc. It is about what =
Americans are actually reading in 2018.  =20

> On Aug 22, 2018, at 8:36 AM, Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Friends:
> I got this email overnight and had not really thought much about the =
> on/issue.  Any thoughts out there??? Discuss . . . .
> Subject:"Great" American Reads
> Dear Dr. Bush,
> I write to inquire if any Mark Twain scholars or societies have =
mounted a p=3D
> rotest against PBS for omitting The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn =
from its=3D
> =3D93Great American Read=3D94 programming and to volunteer my =
assistance if po=3D
> ssible.
> I am a former secondary school English teacher and a current Jonathan =
> scholar.
> Thank you.
> Patrice J. Smith
> Gettysburg
> Dr. Hal Bush
> Dept. of English
> Saint Louis University
> [log in to unmask]
> 314-977-3616
> author website: