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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Fred Kaplan <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 07:35:14 -0500
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Apparently this subject is the third rail of Twain discussions. That anyone could think Twain a racist is beyond my comprehension, & his evolution from his Hannibal childhood to his mature views on the subject is worthy of the greatest admiration. On the one hand, I think Barb is right in thinking that my close conjunction of the reference to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  & my reference to "nigger Jim" has mislead some readers into the conclusion that I intended to claim that the phrase appears in HF. On the other, Kevin and Shelley stated that Twain never (an open-ended anyplace) used the phrase that I quoted. I wonder if their responses would have been different if I had used the full phrase "the nigger Jim" rather than "nigger Jim." In neither instance is there a capital "N." My thanks to those who have responded to my original statement & query. Even at my age it's still possible to get an education. These lessons are sometimes puzzling but always valuable.