??From: IN%"[log in to unmask]" 9-APR-1997 05:32:04.54 Subj: RE: [Fwd: Re: C Span] Would you consider forwarding these wonderful comments to the entire list? Wes Britton wrote: > Are we really having such a dirth of acedemic thought to get so > embroiled in what is pure speculation? It is one thing, as Fiedler did, to > deal with homosexuality for literary criticism, another to make odd claims on > biography and expect a civil dialouge. What Hoffman has done, > as many have pointed out, is create a case of innuendo and the worst logical syllogism > in literary history: there were gays in the west, Twain went west, Twain > was gay. The real point is, there is no evidence, so why is anybody bothering > to give Hoffman the time of day? Titillation, outrage, wishful thinking, > whatever, our fuel only sells more of his books. > My major concern is how many people will get sucked into putting that > book on library shelves and forever damning Twain scolrs to have > to deal with this artificial issue. The request, for example, by one Forum > member to begin assessing Twain's works through the prisms of possible > homosexual connections is irresponsible. It does not take us closer to the > work of Mark Twain, but rather sheds light only on those uninterested > in true scolarship, what the works and words of a writer say to us. > > Whatever the case, can we get back to the business of real > Mark Twain discussion and get out of > fantasyland? He deserves better and so do we. > > wes britton Since I sent this note to Messr. Mooster, the folowing analogy came to mind--at one Hartford conference, the following claim was made: 1. Sleeping with prostitutes in the West was, of course common. Many of these ladies were black. 2. Mark Twain very likely slept with prostitutes, very likely black ones. 3. This accounts for his sympathetic portrayal of Roxy in _Pudd'nhead Wilson_. This is exactly Hoffman's logic.