I can think of two instances, off-hand, where Twain subverts the
mapping impulse (though his writing is so temptingly tied to place)
with metaphorical potential: 1. Twain's piloting narratives emphasize
the uselessness of maps on an ever-changing river. The terrain must
be learned anew on every trip, the codes of today's peculiarities sent
back and forth from pilot to pilot. 2. The Map of Paris--backwards,
inaccurate, decorated in imaginary honors for its usefulness, and
offered with the helpful hint to the reader to "frame this map for
future reference, so that it may aid in extending popular intelligence
and dispelling the wide-spread ignorance of the day."
M. Christine Benner Dixon
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On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 3:28 PM, Michael MacBride
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I immediately think about the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons episode from
> Huck. Even without a map, it's pretty clear where the boundaries are, and
> one can easily create a map from his description. And, that episode could
> be read as a critique of line-drawing and how arbitrary boundaries can be
> (and yet how prideful people can feel about "their" side of the line).
> On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 12:13 PM, Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
>> The only map Twain provides, that occurs to me at the moment, is the map
>> of Nevada toll roads in Roughing It. It seems his sense of the spatial
>> as well as the temporal take a back seat to his sense of story.
>> On Sat, 2015-01-03 at 11:37 -0600, Hal Bush wrote:
>> > Happy New Year to all; and I have one metaphor to ask everyone to
>> > consider:
>> > I've been struck with the (somewhat obscure to me, anyway) conversation
>> > about the mapping of Twain's adventures in Nevada. Mapping, of course,
>> > rather concerned with certainly, and with accuracy, etc.
>> > What if I mention Twain's use of, and relationship to, Maps in his
>> > My question is more along the lines of a global/metacognitive use, by
>> > Twain, of maps and mapping throughout his works, as symbol or metaphor.
>> > wonder what kinds of ideas this might suggest to others on this LIST??
>> > Especially with regard to Twain's metaphysics (or lack thereof).
>> > Put it this way: in the AB, he mentions his theory of dictation as being
>> > "systemless system." So which is it, with his use of maps??
>> > thanks, I'm just wondering here if anyone has a knee jerk response ....