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Mark Coburn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 8 Apr 1998 08:34:03 -0600
text/plain (19 lines)
I must agree with those who poked gentle fun at "male discourse
community" (though I hope the Forum member who used the term won't take
personal offense).

Dreadful as academic jargon is, it always seems EXTRA ghastly to me when
applied to Twain, because his own ear for cant and pomposity was so
sharp.  Anyone with a sense of style who has read bad Twain criticism
has surely noticed the absurd contrast between the critic's verbal
flatulence and whatever Twain words the critic happened to quote.

You can grab a Twain passage almost at random and catch the verbal snap
and sparkle:  "When the Lord finished the world, he pronounced it good.
 That is what I said about my first work, too.  But Time, I tell you,
Time takes the confidence out of these incautious early opinions.  It is
more than likely that He thinks about the world, now, pretty much as I
think about the INNOCENTS ABROAD. . . ."

Mark Coburn