TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show HTML Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Mark Twain Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 29 Jul 1992 15:53:59 PDT
text/plain (39 lines)
RE:  Fishkin's book.

See also Newsweek 120 (20 July 1992): 3, 64-65.  "Same Twain, Different

Quote in part:

"...Despite the title of her forthcoming book, "Was Huck Black?", Fishkin
doesn't mean that Huck is Jimmy in whiteface.  She's well aware, in fact,
that Twain said Huck was an exact portrait of a boyhood chum named Tom
Blankenship, the son of the town drunk in Hannibal, Mo., but she's come up
with a way to finesse that inconvenient fact:  Twain doesn't tell us how
Tom talked. If this sounds like a bit of a stretch, you'd never know it
from last week's chorus of Eurekas.  "It's what we've all been looking
for," said David E. E. Sloane, University of New Haven English professor
and president of the Mark Twain Circle of America.  "It's like the missing
link.  This comes under the line of proof:  now we know."  Henry Louis
Gates Jr., Harvard's W.E. B. DuBois professor of humanities, told the Times
Fishkin had demonstrated "that it is the black American linguistic voice
which forms the structuring principle of the great American novel, and that
ain't bad."  Novelist Toni Morrison, who has often called for recognition
of an African-American strain in white as well as black American
literature, welcomed Fishkins' "understanding of the integral part of black
language and imagination had on Sam Clemens" (Twain's real name)>  Justin
Kaplan, Twain's Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, was one of the few to
betray discomfort, with the slenderness of Fishkin's evidence, but he have
her an AA for effort:  "I wish there'd been more proof.  But she's
certainly done the best with what she has."

See also "The Week, July 5-11, 1992," Time, 20 July 1992, 18-19, "Was Huck
Finn Black?"

San Jose Mercury News, 9 July 1992, 6B, "Don't box Huck in"

USA Today, 8 July 1992, 2A

San Francisco Chronicle, 7 July 1992, D1, D2 "A Black 'Voice' for Huck"