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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 11:50:17 -0500
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Like everyone else, this is too irresistable a topic for me not to respond.

I'm currently teaching a month long into to lit course where we're going to
be discussing Twain and Huck Finn next week.  But, of course as the Twainian
that I am, I have not been able to resist mentioning him during every other
class.  This discussion fits right in with all that we are discussing--issues
of identity in literature, duality, etc.

The comment:
 Twains juggling of Huck's character as good example/bad example is pure
 magic to me. He never drops the ball. It is that balance, in part, that
 makes Huck so human to me.

clarifies some of this for me and reinforces my beliefs and studies.  Just as
Twain 'juggled' Huck's character  as 'good example/bad example,' didn't he do
the same with his own character/identity?  He magnificantly juggled the
Clemens/Twain personas throughout his life and career.  HE WAS HIMSELF THE
GOOD EXAMPLE/BAD EXAMPLE--just as he was himself both Tom and Huck, both the
acceptable good, bad boy and the unacceptable bad, bad boy.  But who was the
authentic persona?--ah, back to Pudd'nhead Wilson.  You can't shoot half a
dog and have any dog left!

Carolyn Richey--SDSU & NU