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Bob Gill <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 12 Sep 2005 21:37:26 -0400
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> I am currently trying to publish a historical criticism of Huck Finn and I
was wondering if anyone knew the MONTH of when Twain's writer's block
occurred.  I was just emailed a reference to an upcoming criticism
explaining that previously, scholars assumed Twain stopped working on the
novel in 1876 when the raft is hit by the steamboat, but there is new
evidence that Twain conitined writing into the Grangerford episode and
stopped where Huck and Buck discuss what a feud is (Donyo).

  My impression is that there was a break of some length _ six months, a
year, whatever _ between the wreck of the raft and Twain's adding of the
Grangerford chapters, at least the latter part that contains the feud story.
I've always assumed (and might have read somwhere) that Twain's work on the
unfinished novel "Simon Wheeler, Detective," which includes a Romeo-Juliet
match of lovers from feuding Mississippi families, inspired him to put a
similar plot device to more effective use in Huckleberry Finn. And as I
recall, Simon Wheeler was written in 1877.

 -- Bob G.