Sun, 2 Oct 1994 00:15:18 EDT
The Mark Twain Forum needs a reviewer for the following book:
Gregg Camfield, _Sentimental Twain: Samuel Clemens in the Maze of
Moral Philosophy_ (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
1994). 296 pp. Cloth, ISBN 0-8122-3285-2, $34.95.
The deadline for the review would be two months after you receive it.
Reviews on the Forum should be of publishable quality. You are free to
publish your review elsewhere, so long as (1) it appears first on the MT
Forum; and (2) subsequent publications (in print or electronic media)
acknowledge that your review (or an earlier version) appeared first on
the MT Forum.
This book is described by the jacket as follows:
In _Sentimental Twain_, Gregg Camfield examines the major and minor
works of Mark Twain to redraw the boundaries between sentimentalism
and realism in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Beginning by taking the reactions to the question of race in
_Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_ as a test case, Camfield reveals
that sentimental ethics persist, though buried, in American
culture, and he argues that Americans' ambivalent responses to
sentimentalism explain some of the continuing controversy
surrounding Mark Twain's work. Specifically, he contends, insofar
as the liberal agenda remains substantially sentimental--especially
when dealing with issues of race--today's readers of Twain
participate in the same dialectic between sentimental compassion
and realistic cynicism that Twain himself confronted.
Camfield then traces the cultural development of this ethical
dialectic and follows Mark Twain's reactions to it, showing that
Twain was a closet sentimentalist whose public attacks on
sentimentalism veiled a deep longing for a more compassionate
world. Throughout, _Sentimental Twain_ is grounded in a discussion
of philosophical contexts of nineteenth-century American
sentimental literature, paying particular attention to the Scottish
Common Sense philosophers, but looking forward to the Pragmatism of
Please send me a message with your snail-mail address if you're
interested in reviewing this book.