I wanted to respond to this before, Gregg (and all), but I've been too
busy/lazy/etc. Actually, I think I wanted to think about something I had
never considered before. I think I would agree with Larry M. that the
evidence seems to be stronger of Mark Twain's drinking than Hank's. What's
the other evidence of any drinking in the text? I don't have it here with me,
but I don't recall any, either in the period when MT encounters him at Warwick
Castle (other than the passage you point out), or in the
Connecticut/pre-time-travel days, or in the Camelot portion, the longest part
of the text.
I think it's also important to examine the ending parts of the frame, when
Hank cries out for Sandy and feels lost between two times. I've always
explained his dislocation by his perception (whether it's accurate or not)
that he has lived convincingly in two different (very different!) worlds. I
think I want to go back to the text and think some more about the possible
effect of drink. Thanks for sparking these ideas!
From: Mark Twain Forum on behalf of Gregg Camfield
Sent: Friday, April 05, 1996 9:58 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list TWAIN-L
Subject: Re: Hank Morgan's alcoholism
Well, overstatement is usually a good way to get a reaction, but
I've been surprised at how little reaction I got! So thank you, Howard,
for keeping me honest.