I'll second Michael's statements about the complexity of Twain's work,
and not just in terms of Huckleberry Finn.  I find Pudd'nhead Wilson
even more complex and problematic.  The trouble with the race/racism
focus is that it is, in the long run, reductive, quite similar,
actually, to the same discussion in terms of Poe.  We tend to get so
caught up in that singular issue that others (and there are others
besides the ones Michael so cogently brings up) of equal weight get
shunted aside.  I find it a touch ironic that Twain's "complexity" gets
cited by those defending him from racism, while the focus on racism
reduces that complexity.

Just a thought from the world of retirement.

dennis eddings