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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Kathy Farretta <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 09:55:00 -0700
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excellent comments, hal. i was thinking the same thing when i read that
article--but being the holidays didn't have time to check the particulars.
in general, i found it unpleasant for mainly the last point you
mentioned--that the place was the "center" of his thinking.

as i walked through suburb streets in tempe, az last night (as i dogsit
for my parents).  i thought about how the southwest celebrates its
hispanic and indian heritage in its architecture, its street names, and
its tourism...but as a child i grew up here learning almost nothing in
school about this same heritage.

as an historian, these things trouble me.  i've read the beginning of
_lighting out for the territory__ and shelly fishkin fisher sees the same
deficiencies in the town of hannibal.  and in hannibal, not only is the
true history hidden, but the town celebrates a work of fiction as if it
were real.

tourism is great, and living in a tourist town i would have to concede
that many tourists prefer to be spoonfed uncontroversial history. but
maybe it's because that's all they know.  there is no excuse for bad
history, and i hope that despite the funding from hartford--which has its
own rich history that *includes* twain--burns and the scholars on the
project will attempt to write better history than the promo blurb

kathy farretta
northern arizona university