My List of Permanencies

Forrest G. Robinson

in The Author-Cat

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227877
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240968 | DOI:
My List of Permanencies

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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Clemens was struck by guilt when a incident in a birthday dinner for John Greenleaf Whittier happens: all the audience expected a entertaining speech, instead they got a rather crude burlesque of Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow, casted by Clemens as bibulous ruffians. He is baffled and mortified by what he wrote, so promptly delivered an apology to his victims and accepted his blame for trespass. Clemens's perennial craving for an end to guilt was accompanied by the virtual certainty that there would be no relief from his “list of permanencies.” That offense he committed continued to weigh heavily in his mind, so he decided to remove his family to Europe just a few months later. As he grew older his suffering became more chronic, his guilt became a fixed feature of his interior life.

Keywords: Clemens; permanencies; life; guilt; speech; John Greenleaf Whittier; apology

Chapter.  15063 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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