Ripples and Reverberations

Shelley Fisher Fishkin

in Lighting Out for the Territory

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195121223
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855162 | DOI:
Ripples and Reverberations

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The first part of the chapter presents the other side of Mark Twain as a public figure, courted by limelight. The chapter asserts that Twain's mystique—his unique personality—is ultimately responsible for the enduring quality of his work and words, and the public tolerance for his sometimes polemical statements exposing the ugliness of society and the very people who profess to be his fans. The chapter goes on to recount the various offshoots, reproductions, and representations of Twain's work in America and beyond and then dwells on how these public responses to his literary pieces have been shaped by his socio-political views. The chapter also recounts Mark Twain's posthumous “life” through his appearances in literature, movies, television shows, and even cartoons. The chapter ends with a discussion on Twain's embrace of technology, fully aware of its terrible and grand potential to change the course of human destiny.

Keywords: Mark Twain; author; America; posthumous; technology; public; socio-political views

Chapter.  20511 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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