Mark Busby's 1995 _Larry McMurtry and the West: An Ambivalent
Relationship_ (Denton: University of North Texas Press) contains a
brief mention on Twain's influence on McMurtry. After briefly
quoting from an undergraduate paper McMurtry wrote on _Huck Finn_,
Busby quicly claims Twain's influence is apparent in _Horseman,
Pass By_ and _Leaving Cheyenne_ (page 10). Sounds like a great
jumping off point for a paper for someone . . .for example, I
noticed close parallels between Twain and McMurtry's religous sense
and bent for satire.
Thanks to all those who've responded to my query on the east. Many
have noted Twain's reading of the (Middle) Eastern _Ruby Yacht of
Ohmy Ican_ (to use Rocky and Bullwinkle's spelling), and Twain's
travel notes in _Following the Equator_. Another pointed to an
intriguing connection between Rupyard Kipling and Twain as Kipling
showed up on Twain's doorstep after leaving India. Hmm.
I agree with Howard Baezthold that direct connections between Twain
and Eastern philosophy are as thin as the compassion membrane in
Pat Buchanan's aorta. Still, the ending of _Mysterious Stranger_
and its striking rephrasing of key Buddhist notions nags at me.
Perhaps, like so many other American authors, Twain's Eastern ideas
came second-hand, say, through such schools as theosophy. Or
perhaps "enlightenment" came by way of transcendental mental
telegraphy. Or maybe the vagrant thought came through a
particullarly good glass of pedantic beer.