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Larry Howe <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 20 Sep 2000 12:06:25 -0700
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Greg Zacharias points out the variety of uses to which James's image
has been similarly commercialized.   But I would point out that
there's a significant difference between the uses made by Banana
Republic and Barnes and Noble.   The latter, after all, sells books
written by Henry James.   I would also not want to correlate a cigar
advertisement with a film production of _Portrait of a Lady_.    While
there might be much to criticize about the production of the film, its
intent to work with James's narrative has a degree of integrity, that
I assume most would agree is lacking in the cigar advertisement.

My original point about Leckey's book about investments was not that
it was an unsatisfactory book about investments, but that his use of
Twain, as described by Christmas, was inconsequential and merely
inserted for commercial gain.   In other words, it attempts to trade
on Twain's cultural capital for a personal gain, and in doing so risks
divesting Twain of genuine cultural capital.    Regardless of whether
or not one agrees with the thesis of a scholarly monograph on Twain,
the same cannot be said of its serious examination of Twain and his
works, even if such a monograph were able to generate revenue for its