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Mark Twain : the adventures of Samuel L. Clemens /
Jerome Loving.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2010.
description
xxiii, 491 p. : ill.
ISBN
9780520252578 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2010.
isbn
9780520252578 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
7076062
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Very probably the best of the many Mark Twain biographies. . .one that should be preeminent for quite a long time."--Frederick Crews, author of Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays "This biography offers irresistibly concise and beautifully paced chapters that will take readers through this author's amazing life and work--its humor, its pathos, and its tragedy--in brisk and compelling fashion."--Ed Folsom, author of Walt Whitman's Native Representations "There has definitely never been a Twain biography so comprehensive in scope and so sagaciously opinionative."--Alan Gribben, author of Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction, and co-founder of Mark Twain Circle of America
Flap Copy
"Very probably the best of the many Mark Twain biographies. . .one that should be preeminent for quite a long time."--Frederick Crews, author ofFollies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays "This biography offers irresistibly concise and beautifully paced chapters that will take readers through this author's amazing life and work--its humor, its pathos, and its tragedy--in brisk and compelling fashion."--Ed Folsom, author ofWalt Whitman's Native Representations "There has definitely never been a Twain biography so comprehensive in scope and so sagaciously opinionative."--Alan Gribben, author ofMark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction, and co-founder of Mark Twain Circle of America
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2010-02-15:
In the latest volume for the centennial of Twain's death, Loving (Walt Whitman: Song of Himself) serves up a balanced literary biography of a crowded life-"to renew our acquaintance with this familiar stranger in our literature and culture." Many of the best chapters include sensitive appraisals of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, and the anonymously published Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer put in a different context as possibly the most overrated work of American fiction when considered as adult literature. In fact, this Mark Twain flows with the easy familiarity of a scholar who has spent a lifetime tracking 19th-century American literature. Of certain interest is the discussion, at various points, of Twain's complex views on blacks and slavery, Native Americans, the Chinese, and-particularly from the standpoint of his home in fin-de-siecle Vienna-on Jews. If this biography of Clemens's many adventures fails to delve "psychologically" into the writer's family and other relationships, it is a solid contribution to literary interpretation of the man who infused American literature with what has been called "tragic laughter." 37 b&w photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-03-15:
Decades ago Bernard DeVoto wrote that Mark Twain's humor promoted tragic laughter. Twain preferred to be known as a serious writer rather than a humorist. When Twain was on the lecture circuit, however, it was his humor that produced the crowds and the money. Before the mass appeal of his writings and his lectures (both earlier and later), Twain worked as a printer, a river pilot for four years, a newspaper reporter, and a travel writer. Many of these "adventures" are recorded in this new work by Loving (English, Texas A&M University), a scholar of 19th-century American literature. His focus is the man and the writer, not exactly a new approach. However, Loving's use of new material reveals more of the emotional element in Twain's writing and the personal travails of his peripatetic life. Verdict Perhaps the most respected Twain biographer is Henry Nash Smith. But Loving's new work sheds additional light on this enigmatic, enduring icon of dark and sometimes tragic laughter.-Robert Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2010-09-01:
Also biographer of Theodore Dreiser (The Last Titan, CH, Jun'05, 42-5728) and Walt Whitman (Walt Whitman, CH, Sep'99, 37-0164), Loving (Texas A&M Univ.) here offers a crisply written, carefully documented "critical biography" of the man who is arguably the US's most famous writer. Although Twain biographies are something of a cottage industry--some ten have appeared in the last 15 years, among them Mark Powers' Mark Twain: A Life (CH, Apr'06, 43-4536), Karen Lystra's Dangerous Intimacy (CH, Nov'04, 42-1417), and Fred Kaplan's The Singular Mark Twain (2003)--Loving provides a fresh perspective thanks to his interpretation of new archival materials. He uses Twain's life to illuminate his work, rather than the reverse, and offers brief interpretations of all Twain's major books and many of his short pieces. Whereas other biographies may provide more detailed study of specific periods in Twain's life, this one presents an excellent overview that clarifies the complicated trajectory of Twain's life and career. Less experienced readers will appreciate Loving's concise, vibrant style, and scholars will value his detailed notes. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. J. W. Miller Gonzaga University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A fresh interpretive perspective. . . . Readers will value this portrait of a peripatetic genius traversing a wide swath of American culture."
"A fresh interpretive perspective. . . . Readers will value this portrait of a peripatetic genius traversing a wide swath of American culture."--Booklist
"An informative new biography."
"An informative new biography." -- New York Review of Books
"Bids fair, as they used to say, to be a standard life."
"Excellent. . . . The biographer proves an adept guide."
"Excellent. . . . The biographer proves an adept guide."-- Wall Street Journal
"Excellent. . . . The biographer proves an adept guide."--Wall Street Journal
"Funny and informative. . . . This could be the biography of the season."
"Funny and informative. . . . This could be the biography of the season." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Funny and informative. . . . This could be the biography of the season." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Funny, fresh, and informative."
"Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens works well for the general reader."
"Provocative and well-reasoned."
"Serves up a balanced literary biography of a crowded life."
"Serves up a balanced literary biography of a crowded life."-- Publishers Weekly
"Serves up a balanced literary biography of a crowded life."--Publishers Weekly
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2010
Booklist, March 2010
Library Journal, March 2010
Wall Street Journal, March 2010
Choice, September 2010
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this biography, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain's humour and sheds light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author of 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'.
Main Description
Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer's death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain, humorist and quipster, and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the southerner transformed himself into a westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain's life is informed by newly discovered archival materials that provide the most complex view of the man and writer to date.
Main Description
Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer's death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain, humorist and quipster, and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author ofAdventures of Huckleberry Finn. In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the southerner transformed himself into a westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain's life is informed by newly discovered archival materials that provide the most complex view of the man and writer to date.
Main Description
Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer's death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain the humorist and the quipster and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author ofAdventures of Huckleberry Finn. In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the Southerner transformed himself into a Westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain's life is informed by newly discovered archival materials which provide the most complex view of man and writer to date. Loving's critical assessment reaches from Twain's earliest efforts at making readers laugh to the final and awful irony of that laughter as seen in "The Mysterious Stranger" texts and in their author's personal tragedies. In brief chapters that mirror an episodic life, Loving takes us on an exhilarating ride and deepens our readings of books we thought we knew, giving us an insightful new life of Mark Twain for the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Chronology of the Life and Works of Mark Twainp. xvii
Prologuep. 1
Humorist in the West
Life on the Salt Riverp. 11
Window to the Westp. 19
Orionp. 28
Southwest Humoristp. 35
Tramp Printerp. 44
Cub Pilotp. 54
Death on the Mississippip. 62
Fetching Grantp. 67
Lighting Outp. 74
A Millionaire for Ten Daysp. 81
"Mark Twain"p. 87
Governor of the Third Housep. 94
The Jumping Frogp. 100
Vandal Abroadp. 110
Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slopep. 118
Writer in the East
Westerner in the Eastp. 129
Pilgrims on the Loosep. 137
Love in a Locketp. 145
The Innocent at Homep. 153
False Start in Buffalop. 162
Back on the Lecture Circuitp. 172
Home in Hartfordp. 179
Sequel to a Successp. 188
A Book about the Englishp. 195
Colonel Sellersp. 201
Mississippi Memoriesp. 209
The Riley Bookp. 216
Banned in Bostonp. 222
The Innocent Abroad Againp. 231
Down and Out in Paris and Londonp. 240
The Artist and the Businessman
Associations New and Oldp. 249
Return to the River and the Lecture Circuitp. 256
Mark Twain and the Phunny Phellowsp. 265
Webster and Paigep. 270
A Romance of the White Consciencep. 278
Publishing Grantp. 289
Brooding in King Arthur's Courtp. 297
Progress and Povertyp. 306
Europe on Only Dollars a Dayp. 315
A Dream Sold Down the Riverp. 322
Family Mattersp. 331
A Friend at Standard Oilp. 337
Broken Twigs and Found Canoesp. 345
Back Home and Overlandp. 353
Lost in the British Empirep. 360
Mark Twain's Daughterp. 367
The Mysterious Stranger
City of Dreamsp. 377
Winter Fantasiesp. 384
Weary Sojournersp. 392
Exile's Returnp. 399
Homelessp. 406
A Death in Florencep. 415
Epiloguep. 421
Clemens Genealogyp. 433
Books Published by Charles L. Webster & Companyp. 436
Notesp. 441
Indexp. 479
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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