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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 27 Jan 1996 08:48:46 -0500
text/plain (27 lines)
Ioram Melcer wrote:
> As a curiosity: I walked into a second-hand bookstore here in Jerusalem
> today and found a biography of Joan of Arc. The volume was part of an
> edition of Twain's writings - but the author was not him.
> Anyone care to explain this to me?

"_Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc_, Mark Twain's fictional biography
of the woman he called 'the most extraordinary person the human race has
ever produced,' opens a fascinating window onto the moral imagination of
America's greatest comic writer." (Mark Twain's _Historical Romances--The
P. & the P.--A Conn. Yankee--Joan of Arc_, Library of America, back cover)

> Could someone send me by e-mail a good synopsis of the 'Was Huck Black?' theory?

"In this book I will suggest that Twain himself and the critics have
ignored or obscured the African-American roots of his art. ... Compelling
evidence indicates that the model for Huck Finn's voice was a black child
[Sociable Jimmy] instead of a white one and that this child's speech
sparked in Twain a sense of the possibilities of a vernacular narrator.
The record suggests that it may have been yet another black speaker who
awakened Twain to the power of satire as a tool of social criticism."
(_Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices_, Shelley Fisher
Fishkin, Oxford, 3-4)

larry marshburne            [log in to unmask]