Catalogue


Mark Twain and the art of the tall tale /
Henry B. Wonham.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1993.
description
viii, 207 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0195078012 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1993.
isbn
0195078012 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
3242928
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-207) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A thorough reassessment of the tall tale as an oral tradition peculiar to the American experience....[Wonham] provides the reader with an innovative understanding of the tall tale and a reinterpretation of the entire Mark Twain canon."--American Studies
"A thorough reassessment of the tall tale as an oral tradition peculiar tothe American experience....[Wonham] provides the reader with an innovativeunderstanding of the tall tale and a reinterpretation of the entire Mark Twaincanon."--American Studies
"If Henry B. Wonham's succinct book closes the era of Constance Rourke, it also opens a new period of the analysis of humor with its sophisticated yet commonsensical interpretations and its ability to synthesize and originate concepts at the same time. This is a worthy successor to the work ofsuch pioneers as Walter Blair, Hamlin Hill, Kenneth S. Lynn and David E.E. Sloane. It will be quoted as often as it is consulted."--The Southern Quarterly
"If Henry B. Wonham's succinct book closes the era of Constance Rourke, italso opens a new period of the analysis of humor with its sophisticated yetcommonsensical interpretations and its ability to synthesize and originateconcepts at the same time. This is a worthy successor to the work of suchpioneers as Walter Blair, Hamlin Hill, Kenneth S. Lynn and David E.E. Sloane. Itwill be quoted as often as it is consulted."--The Southern Quarterly
"This is a strong book on Mark Twain--strong in its conception, its scholarship, its execution, and in its clarity. Wonham sees just how central the tall tale is as a structural unit and as a form of narrative energy in Mark Twain's work. He has a comprehensive understanding of Mark Twain'shumor, sees its strong commonsense element playing against the self-conscious exaggeration of the tall tale, and is remarkably free of the high-handed judgments that characterize so much Mark Twain criticism. The result is a central book on Mark Twain as a writer."--James M. Cox, DartmouthCollege
"This is a strong book on Mark Twain--strong in its conception, itsscholarship, its execution, and in its clarity. Wonham sees just how central thetall tale is as a structural unit and as a form of narrative energy in MarkTwain's work. He has a comprehensive understanding of Mark Twain's humor, seesits strong commonsense element playing against the self-conscious exaggerationof the tall tale, and is remarkably free of the high-handed judgments thatcharacterize so much Mark Twain criticism. The result is a central book on MarkTwain as a writer."--James M. Cox, Dartmouth College
"This is a well-written, well-conceived book."--Susan K. Harris, City University of New York
"This is a well-written, well-conceived book."--Susan K. Harris, CityUniversity of New York
"We finish Wonham's study with a clearer sense of Clemen's aesthetics, how he envisioned narratives and audiences, as well as thoughtful interpretations of individual texts."--Western American Literature
"We finish Wonham's study with a clearer sense of Clemen's aesthetics, howhe envisioned narratives and audiences, as well as thoughtful interpretations ofindividual texts."--Western American Literature
"Wonham has written a book that will be of interest to fans of the tall tale and Twainians in particular."--American Literature
"Wonham has written a book that will be of interest to fans of the talltale and Twainians in particular."--American Literature
"Wonham's book has struck upon an innovative if not radically new approach to Twain's travelogues and major fiction which...ought to cause a stir in literary-critical circles generally and among Twainians particularly."--Gary Scharnhorst, University of New Mexico
"Wonham's book has struck upon an innovative if not radically new approachto Twain's travelogues and major fiction which...ought to cause a stir inliterary-critical circles generally and among Twainians particularly."--GaryScharnhorst, University of New Mexico
"Wonham's book has struck upon an innovative if not radically new approach to Twain's travelogues and major fiction which...ought to cause a stir in literary-critical circles generally and among Twainians particularly."--Gary Scharnhorst, University of New Mexico"This is a strong book on Mark Twain--strong in its conception, its scholarship, its execution, and in its clarity. Wonham sees just how central the tall tale is as a structural unit and as a form of narrative energy in Mark Twain's work. He has a comprehensive understanding of Mark Twain's humor, sees its strong commonsense element playing against the self-conscious exaggeration of the tall tale, and is remarkably free of the high-handed judgments thatcharacterize so much Mark Twain criticism. The result is a central book on Mark Twain as a writer."--James M. Cox, Dartmouth College"This is a well-written, well-conceived book."--Susan K. Harris, City University of New York"Wonham has written a book that will be of interest to fans of the tall tale and Twainians in particular."--American Literature"We finish Wonham's study with a clearer sense of Clemen's aesthetics, how he envisioned narratives and audiences, as well as thoughtful interpretations of individual texts."--Western American Literature"If Henry B. Wonham's succinct book closes the era of Constance Rourke, it also opens a new period of the analysis of humor with its sophisticated yet commonsensical interpretations and its ability to synthesize and originate concepts at the same time. This is a worthy successor to the work of such pioneers as Walter Blair, Hamlin Hill, Kenneth S. Lynn and David E.E. Sloane. It will be quoted as often as it is consulted."--The Southern Quarterly"A thorough reassessment of the tall tale as an oral tradition peculiar to the American experience....[Wonham] provides the reader with an innovative understanding of the tall tale and a reinterpretation of the entire Mark Twain canon."--American Studies
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Mark Twain and the Art of the Tall Tale is a study of a peculiar American comic strategy and its role in Mark Twain's fiction. Focusing on the writer's experiments with narrative structure, Wonham describes how Twain manipulated conventional approaches to reading and writing by engaging his audience in a series of rhetorical games--the rules of which he adapted from the conventions of tall tale in American oral and written traditions. Wonham goes on to show how Twain's appropriation of the genre developed through the course of his career, from The Innocents Abroad to Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. This eminently readable study will interest Twain enthusiasts and students of nineteenth-century American literature, as well as anyone interested in American humor and oral narrative traditions.
Long Description
Mark Twain and the Art of the Tall Tale is a study of a peculiarly American comic strategy and its role in Mark Twain's fiction. Henry Wonham examines how Mark Twain used the oral genre of the tall tale to experiment with narrative structure throughout his career. Wonham argues that in his major fiction Twain manipulated conventional approaches to reading and writing by engaging his audience in a series of rhetorical games, whose rules he adapted from the conventions oftall tale performance and response. The book offers a history of the tall tale in American oral and written language, and shows how Twain's appropriation of the genre developed from the early works such as The Innocents Abroad through Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson.
Main Description
Mark Twain and the Art of the Tall Tale is a study of a peculiar American comic strategy and its role in Mark Twain's fiction. Focusing on the writer's experiments with narrative structure, Wonham describes how Twain manipulated conventional approaches to reading and writing by engaging hisaudience in a series of rhetorical games--the rules of which he adapted from the conventions of tall tale in American oral and written traditions. Wonham goes on to show how Twain's appropriation of the genre developed through the course of his career, from The Innocents Abroad to Tom Sawyer, HuckFinn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. This eminently readable study will interest Twain enthusiasts and students of nineteenth-century American literature, as well as anyone interested in American humor and oral narrative traditions.
Main Description
Mark Twain and the Art of the Tall Tale is a study of a peculiar American comic strategy and its role in Mark Twain's fiction. Focusing on the writer's experiments with narrative structure, Wonham describes how Twain manipulated conventional approaches to reading and writing by engaging his audience in a series of rhetorical games--the rules of which he adapted from the conventions of tall tale in American oral and written traditions. Wonham goes on to show how Twain's appropriation of the genre developed through the course of his career, from The Innocents Abroad to Tom Sawyer , Huck Finn , and Pudd'nhead Wilson . This eminently readable study will interest Twain enthusiasts and students of nineteenth-century American literature, as well as anyone interested in American humor and oral narrative traditions.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "The World Is Grown Too Incredulous"p. 3
The Emergence of Tall Narrative in American Writingp. 17
Mark Twain's Development as a Literary Yarn Spinnerp. 51
Joyous Heresy: Travelling with the Innocent Abroadp. 70
The Tall Tale as Theme and Structure in Roughing Itp. 89
The River as Yarn: "Old Times on the Mississippi"p. 112
The Contest for Narrative Authority in The Adventures of Tom Sawyerp. 124
The Disembodied Yarn Spinner and the Reader of Huckleberry Finnp. 141
Conclusion: The Eclipse of Humorp. 161
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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