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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Mark Coburn <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 15:29:32 -0600
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A handy place to find his observations on several holidays is the calendar
entries at the head of the chapters in PUDD'NHEAD WILSON.  See also
"Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar"--the chapter headings of  FOLLOWING THE
EQUATOR.

My favorite, in its blend of late-Twainian harshness and common-sense humor,
heads the concluding chapter of PUDD'NHEAD WILSON:

"October 12, the Discovery.  It was wonderful to find America, but it would
have been more wonderful to miss it."

I assume  that the line (at the close of a far harsher book on the idiocy of
slavery than HUCKLEBERY FINN) reflects Clemens' rejection of the whole
notion that  America is some magical, God-favored place.   But surely he's
also saying, 'How could Columbus or anyone else sail west from Europe and
possibly NOT bump into America?'

Mark Coburn

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