Fri, 19 Mar 2004 16:59:06 -0500
My apologies to all for responding without having read ALL the messages--I
checked as soon as I sent, and realized that about four posts had been
quarantined by my ISP's filter.
In any case, I will stand by my claim that Mark Twain did not write in
"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" the name "Nigger Jim." That's what I
THOUGHT I was responding to.
And now having read Fred Kaplan's original post, I see where he is coming
from, but to me, saying "me and Tom and the nigger Jim" is not the same as
the way people have for many years referred to the character Jim as "Nigger
Jim." All of this is a part of the tangled thicket of the history of racial
language and racial attitudes. And as I said before, the book is trouble
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hal Bush" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2004 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: "nigger Jim" corrected text
> On 3/19/04 1:18 PM, "Fred Kaplan" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > The opening paragraph of "Huck Finn and Tom =
> > Sawyer among the Indians" includes the sentence, "Me and Tom Sawyer and
> > the nigger Jim, that used to belong to old Miss Watson, was away down in
> > Arkansas at Tom's aunt Sally's and uncle Silas's."
> I do not think that this quote is calling Jim "Nigger Jim" -- it sounds to
> me like he is just noting the race of Jim. My sense is that Twain never
> does refer to Jim as "Nigger Jim," in the exact sense of a proper name or
> proper noun. Please note that Twain does not write ""Me and Tom Sawyer
> and Nigger Jim" -- isn't the "the" crucial to this??
> Ps-- I had thought that the wide currency of the naming of Jim as "Nigger
> Jim" was due to Hemingway, rather than his "first biographer" as Kaplan
> states -- but perhaps I am mistaken??
> Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
> Associate Professor
> Dept. of English, Saint Louis University
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
> Quote of the moment:
> "How does it feel
> To be on your own?"
> --Bob Dylan