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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Salwen <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 13:10:07 -0400
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At 11:42 PM 9/10/96 UT, John Bird wrote:

"Jim is never ever named "Nigger Jim" in the novel.  That's a name
readers gave him.  (Like Hemingway in his famous comment.)"


Right you are.

I thought about pointing that out in my original mailing, but I decided it
would be intrusive to editorialize at that point.

But it *is* an important point, as you say, and I suspect that the habit of
using that phrase tends to reduce Jim from a three-dimensional *character*
to a two-dimensional symbol.

The frequent use of the phrase "Nigger Jim" in discussions of "Huckleberry
Finn" -- as though the character goes through the book wearing that label --
may also help explain some of the widespread hostility to the book among
black Americans.
Best regards,

Pete Salwen