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Ben Friedlander <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 18 Dec 1995 20:33:29 -0500
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I'll have to look up that Jane Smiley article in Harper's. It seems a
strange argument on two counts: First, while _Uncle Tom_ does treat
slavery in a more directly serious manner than _Huck Finn_ (with the
emphasis on direct), Stowe's characters (misunderstood these days
no less than Twain's) pose their own difficulties for a modern reader.
Replacing "Nigger Jim" with "Uncle Tom" and "Topsy" looks like treading
water to me, racial-politics-wise. Second, while the end of _Huck Finn_ may
be slower going than the start, the boring parts of _Uncle Tom_ are
evenly distributed throughout, like the fat in a pound of ground beef.

Scott, I agree with your defense of _HF_. My vote still goes to _The Scarlet

Ben F.