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Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 20:18:45 EDT
text/plain (56 lines)
The Mark Twain Forum needs a reviewer for the following book:

     Richard S. Lowry.  _"Littery Man": Mark Twain and Modern
     Authorship_.  (Commonwealth Center Studies in American Culture.)
     New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.  Pp. 177.
     Cloth, 6-1/2" x 9-1/2".  $39.95.  ISBN 0-19-510212-6.

The blurb on the jacket reads:

     A self-styled "American vandal" who pursued literary celebrity with
     "a mercenary eye" even as genteel America proclaimed him the
     American Rabelais, Samuel Clemens, as Mark Twain, straddled the
     conflicts between culture and commerce that characterized the era
     he named the Gilded Age.  In _"Littery Man"_, Richard Lowry
     examines how Twain used these conflicts in his major texts to
     fashion an "autobiography of authorship," a narrative of his own
     claims to literary authority at that moment when the _American
     Writer_ emerged as a profession.

     Drawing on a wide range of cultural genres--popular boys' fiction,
     childrearing manuals, travel narratives, autobiography, and
     criticism and fiction of the period--Lowry reconstructs how Twain
     participated in remaking the "literary" into a powerful social
     category of representation.  He shows how, as one of our culture's
     first modern celebrities, Samuel Clemens transformed his life into
     the artful performance we have come to know as Mark Twain, and his
     texts into a searching critique of modern identity in a mass-
     mediated society.  _"Littery Man"_ will appeal to both Twain
     scholars and students of nineteenth-century American literature and

     Richard Lowry is Associate Professor of English and American
     Studies at the College of William and Mary.

As usual, the review must be of publishable quality, and it would be due
within two months of your receipt of the book (i.e., mid-October 1996).
The deadline is particularly important, as we are making every effort
for Forum reviews to appear before print reviews.  If you are inclined
to procrastinate, please don't offer to review the book.

If you're interested in writing this review, please send me both your
home and institutional mailing addresses and phone numbers.  If I don't
already know you, it would be helpful for you to explain in what respect
you're qualified to write this review.  (If we haven't exchanged e-mail
recently, it might be a good idea for you to remind me of this info.)

If you'd like to see some sample MT Forum book reviews, they are
available from TwainWeb, at the following URL:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Taylor Roberts
Coordinator, Mark Twain Forum