Manny’s review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary Veneration of Mark Twain is one of the roots of our current intellectual stalemate. John Kennedy Toole quote

I have never read Mark Twain but I couldn't resist this.


message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny
Ah come on. That sounds very clever, but what on earth does it mean? What intellectual stalemate? What does having a high opinion of Mark Twain have to do with it?


message 3: by Gary (new)

Gary The joke is that Ignatius lives in his mind in the middle ages and despises all things modern, including it seems Mark Twain. Ignatius is a bit up himself with his opinions. It's a very funny book.

I've never read Mark Twain (possibly A Conneticut Yankee though), but I have now added Huck Finn to my to read list.


message 4: by Lucy (new)

Lucy about to tackle this bad boy for a second time thanks to Manny


notgettingenough Vote given despite disagreeing about Americans and irony. As a generalisation it is not unreasonable to say that an ear for the ironic is lacking. Blah blah etc etc. Nothing that hasn't been discussed ad infinitum.


message 6: by Manny (new)

Manny notgettingenough wrote: "Vote given despite disagreeing about Americans and irony. As a generalisation it is not unreasonable to say that an ear for the ironic is lacking. Blah blah etc etc. Nothing that hasn't been discus..."

But isn't this the perfect counterexample? A wonderfully ironic passage by Mark Twain, an American author, met by blank incomprehension from one of his fellow countrymen.

It would be an equally valid generalisation to claim that all Europeans (and Australians, for that matter) believe Americans lack an ability to understand irony...


notgettingenough Manny wrote: "notgettingenough wrote: "Vote given despite disagreeing about Americans and irony. As a generalisation it is not unreasonable to say that an ear for the ironic is lacking. Blah blah etc etc. Nothin..."

It would seem you are using definition 2 below whilst I am using definition 5.

Definition of GENERAL
1
: involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole
2
: involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group
3
: not confined by specialization or careful limitation
4
: belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals : generic
5
a : applicable to or characteristic of the majority of individuals involved : prevalent


message 8: by Trevor (new)

Trevor It is a very long time since I read this wonderful, and often banned, book. I also only read today about the changing of nigger to slave throughout the book - it beggar's belief.

The real irony is that the book is so unequivocally anti-racist and perhaps even more surprisingly anti-religion too. At one point Huck decides he will go to hell rather than return a white man's property (his slave) to its rightful owner - it is a conscious act and a case of basic humanity winning out over what has been portrayed as Christian morality - a society that believed that a white man's property (his slave) is more important than a black man's life. This is such a great book, and the idea that it could be made better by removing the word nigger is so jaw-droppingly stupid it is yet another thing to despair over if I think about it too much.


message 9: by Manny (new)

Manny I know, it does rather make you want to despair. As I said in the review, the worst part is that Dr Gribben genuinely seems to believe he's acting for good and moral reasons, removing an inessential part of the book to make it accessible to a larger audience.


message 10: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Glad I could help with another review.

You forgot about one of the best parts of the Bowdler story.

"The editions were actually edited by Bowdler's sister, Harriet, rather than by Thomas. However, they were published under Thomas Bowdler's name, because a woman could not publicly admit that she understood Shakespeare's racy passages."

Scary thing a smart woman! ; )

Really I think the review has it all. Racism, swear words, censorship and Sexism. One of our best I would say! hehe

So which one of us is Thomas?


message 11: by Manny (new)

Manny I did so mention his sister! And I hope you don't mind me giving out this review under my name. Evidently it wouldn't be fitting for you to admit that you understood the racier passages.


message 12: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca The like is actually for Jordan, to encourage her exploration of racier passages.


message 13: by Manny (new)

Manny G N wrote: "The like is actually for Jordan, to encourage her exploration of racier passages."

Yes Jordan, you have to start reading more racy stuff! I can lend you my copy of Megan's Mark if you like...


message 14: by notgettingenough (last edited Jan 11, 2011 10:07AM) (new)

notgettingenough Mark Twain: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."


message 15: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Manny wrote: "G N wrote: "The like is actually for Jordan, to encourage her exploration of racier passages."

Yes Jordan, you have to start reading more racy stuff! I can lend you my copy of Megan's Mark if you ..."


MMM wait that title sounds familiar. ; P
You have that list of famous racy books I want to read. We should do one of those next!


message 16: by Me (new)

Me ..a shame Mark Twain never had the opportunity to write a story about them."

Oh, how wonderful that would be!

Regarding definition 5 applied to Americans and irony: It does not apply. Some of the most popular television shows in the U.S. are almost nothing *but* irony, yet they have devoted followings, reach cult and classic status passed down to the next generation to enjoy, and their creators are made wealthy by Americans' wallets before they've even gone international.

Gross generalizations about the diverse groups of people making up a large nation are usually off the mark.

In my estimation, the only person who has the right to change any piece of art, and a book is a work of art, is the actual artist him or herself. It is a travesty to impose the sensibilities of others on the creation of an artist.


message 17: by Trevor (new)

Trevor "Gross generalizations about the diverse groups of people making up a large nation are usually off the mark."

And yet some of the 'best minds' in the US (from Fox News to Sam Harris) define the whole of the Islamic world as if it was populated by crazed maniacs. Curious.


message 18: by Me (new)

Me Trevor wrote: ""Gross generalizations about the diverse groups of people making up a large nation are usually off the mark."

And yet some of the 'best minds' in the US (from Fox News to Sam Harris) define the wh..."


The remark about the generalizations, true, which is why they are wrong. That they are some of the "best minds" is laughable and hotly disputed by many Americans. BTW, Rupert Murdoch has been doing plenty of damage in the UK for at least 20 years.


message 19: by Debra (new)

Debra Is John Kennedy Toole worth quoting? I have never heard of him. I do not believe this particular quote holds water.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Manny wrote; "It's incidents like this which create the popular European myth that Americans don't understand the concept of irony."

Exactly. I don't see how anyone can miss it, unless they did it on purpose. I mean, Twain is overstating it to avoid any confusion.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Thought this Twain article might be of some interest. Americans must have recognized sarcasm in 1875, before proceeding to lose that ability.

On May 20, 1875 this open letter appeared in the Hartford Courant newspaper:
“To the Public
TWO HUNDRED & FIVE DOLLARS REWARD--At the great baseball match on Tuesday, while I was engaged in hurrahing, a small boy walked off with an English-made brown silk UMBRELLA belonging to me, & forgot to bring it back. I will pay $5 for the return of that umbrella in good condition to my house on Farmington avenue. I do not want the boy (in an active state) but will pay two hundred dollars for his remains.”
Samuel L. Clemens


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