The Mark Twain Forum needs a reviewer for the following book:
Jason Gary Horn. _Mark Twain and William James: Crafting a Free
Self_. Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1996.
Pp. xiii + 189. Cloth, 6-1/4" x 9-1/4". Bibliography, index.
$34.95. ISBN 0-8262-1072-4.
The blurb on the jacket reads:
"Mark Twain and William James is very clearly, engagingly
written with an air of both freshness and pointedness. Horn
is masterful at historicizing Twain's ideas, at re-creating
the concreteness, plane of abstraction, orderliness, and
degree of subtlety at which Twain and James grappled with
ideas during the later nineteenth century. Before now, nobody
has linked Twain and James in more than a few generalizing
sentences."--Louis J. Budd
The first documented meeting between Mark Twain and William James
took place while both vacationed with their families in Florence,
Italy, in 1892. "I have seen him a couple of times," James wrote
home to Josiah Royce, "a fine, soft, fibred little fellow with the
perversest twang and drawl, but very human and good. One might
grow very fond of him," he confessed, "and wish he'd come and live
in Cambridge." In _Mark Twain and William James_, Jason Gary Horn
offers the first thorough investigation of the relationship between
Mark Twain and William James, emphasizing Twain's friendship with
James beyond their shared intellectual interests. James, in fact,
provides the cultural mirror most capable of reflecting Twain's own
shifting thought and illuminating his often vaguely defined
Focusing on the experience of freedom embodied in three Twain
texts, _Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_, _Personal Recollections of
Joan of Arc_, and _No. 44, the Mysterious Stranger_, this book
encapsulates both Twain's early and late theoretical speculations
on the nature of the divided self. From the thoughts and actions
of the protagonists in these works, we can trace and follow Twain's
fictive map of mind, one that eventually leads to a new vision of
Horn moves gracefully and effectively between James and Twain,
expounding the virtues of the mind and temperament of James against
which we can best observe Twain's mind and philosophical
temperament. Providing a fresh estimate of Mark Twain's later
years, _Mark Twain and William James_ constitutes a significant
revision in our way of viewing one of America's important,
endearing, and yet intellectually undersung writers.
About the Author: Jason Gary Horn teaches in the Department of
English at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
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., due early-February
1997). 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 at TwainWeb (the Forum's web page), at the following URL:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
Coordinator, Mark Twain Forum