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Jason Horn <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 14:35:13 EST5EDT
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        My thanks to John Bird for listing my study, along with
others, as a recent attempt to emphasize Twain's role as thinker.  To
enphasize that role is not to deny Twain's comic genius or his
penetrating observations as a satirist.  Twain's humor could often be
a vehicle for expressing his reflections on large and serious
matters.  If thinking means contemplating and reflecting upon
large issues,  weighing and evaluating the known in an effort to
understand the unknown, examining age-old problems and their
possible solutions, then Twain clearly was a thinker (note his
preoccupation with the notion of a conscience, the concept of free
will, the function of "training," the world of dreams). Jonathan
Edwards, Emerson, and William James thought about such matters as
well, and wrote about their thinking on them.  So with Twain.
 Although I do find Twain's presentation of his findings and
speculations far more delightful and, often enough, downright funny.
Dr. Jason G. Horn
Division of Humanities & DST
Gordon College
Division of Humanities and DST
Gordon College
419 College Drive
Barnesville, Georgia 30204
Phone: (770)358-5088   Fax: 770-358-3031
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]