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Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 14 Feb 2000 18:40:52 -0500
text/plain (67 lines)
The Mark Twain Forum needs a reviewer for the following book:

   Krauth, Leland.  _Proper Mark Twain_.  Athens: University of
   Georgia Press, 1999.  Pp. xvi + 304.  Notes, bibliography, index.
   Cloth, 6-1/4" x 9".  $29.95.  ISBN 0-8203-2106-0.

A description of the book is available at, an
excerpt of which follows:

   _Proper Mark Twain_ redefines the persona of the humorist to include
   this bounded Twain, who affirms the dominant values of Victorian
   America. Largely overlooked or sidestepped in critical commentaries,
   the proper Twain informs all of the writer's major works.  He also
   appears in the early western writings, the personal courtship letters,
   and the final autobiographical dictations. The proper Twain confirms
   and upholds humorously what the transgressive Twain seems to

   Krauth finds manifestations of the conventional in Twain's cultural
   imperialism, literary domesticity, sentimentality, commitment to
   progress, and even his humor. Further, he argues persuasively that the
   bounded Twain speaks not only to appease his culture but to express
   deeply held convictions. This meticulous study aims to determine just
   how orthodox Twain was and to what extent he was a product of the
   culture he seemed to oppose.

   To see the proper Mark Twain, Krauth explains, is to understand how
   Twain saw himself and what he meant to convey to his audience.
   Throughout his career, Twain longed to be seen as more than a mere
   humorist, claiming, as his, qualities dear to the Victorian heart:
   seriousness, morality, and pathos. He contended that gravity and
   tender feeling are "absolutely essential" in a humorist. Upholding
   the elite culture he seemed to challenge, the proper Mark Twain even
   hoped to cultivate the masses. Krauth's study uncovers a seldom-seen
   side of America's most important humorist.

As usual, the review must be of publishable quality, and it would be
due within two months of your receipt of the book (i.e., due
late-April 2000).  The deadline is particularly important, as we are
making every effort for Forum reviews to appear before print reviews.
If you are inclined to procrastinate, please don't offer to review
this book.

If you would like to see the general content and style of Forum
reviews, please browse the reviews page at TwainWeb:

A link to the style sheet is at the bottom of the reviews page.

If you're interested in writing a review, please send me both your
home and institutional mailing addresses and phone numbers.  If I
don't know you already, it would be helpful for you to explain in what
respect you're qualified to write the review.  (If we haven't
exchanged e-mail recently, it might be a good idea for you to remind
me of this info.)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
Book review editor, Mark Twain Forum

                   ------> Please note <------

       Include your address when you volunteer, as this will help me
       get the book in the mail for you quickly