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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 20:19:38 -0800
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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I've always assumed he took on that entire scene of sentimental
Victorian 'poetry'.  The Victorians had a 'death industry' every
bit as saturating as our contempory sex industry.  Their popular
poetry is absolutely stuffed with "alas" and "woe".  It wasn't simply
Poe who got rapturous over the deaths of fragile and beautiful
virgins.  It was that same part of the reading public that now
slurps up Silhouette romances.  This sort of mournful junk went
on until at least the 1920's.  After WWI and influenza, I assume
that mourning learned a route beyond sentimentality and
into grim reality.
Jack Cady
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On Fri, 15 Mar 1996, Wm. Thomas Hill wrote:

> I am assuming that the "Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'd." in Chapter 17
> of HF is a satire on someone.  Huck says, "If Emmeline Grangerford could
> make poetry like that before she was fourteen, there ain't no telling what
> she could a done by-and-by.  Buck said she could rattle off poetry like
> nothing.  She didn't ever have to stop to think."  This last sentence is,
> of course, obvious from the poem.  Can someone tell me who this barb is
> directed toward?
> Tom in Tokyo
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