“Littery Man”: The Rhetoric of Authorship

Richard S. Lowry

in ‘Littery Man’

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780195102123
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855087 | DOI:

Series: Commonwealth Center Studies in American Culture

“Littery Man”: The Rhetoric of Authorship

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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A fundamental reason for Mark Twain's struggles in writing stems from his writerly strategies. Mark Twain was more of an intuitive writer than someone who was conscious about literary form. His sense of authorial identity was connected to his practical problems of writing, especially because he had a sense of his audience. He searched this “sole form” to differentiate his works from others. In two of his writings, Mark Twain presents language as an image itself. Rather than speaking literally, language is spoken signifying the literary. The use of literary quotations in his works demands that he and his readers negotiate about the divide. Moreover, Twain's direct pursuit of authorship's “money side” distinguished him from the concerns of his peers.

Keywords: authorship; sole form; language; image; audience; money side

Chapter.  15086 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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