Description : "A groundbreaking and controversial re-examination of our most beloved classic, Huckleberry Finn, proving that for more than 100 years we have misunderstood Twain's message on race and childhood--and the uncomfortable truths it still holds for modern America"--Provided by publisher.
Description : Describes the publishing history and contemporary reception of the novel and discusses Huckleberry Finn's style, language, and rhetoric
Description : Traces the process and influences behind the writing of Mark Twain's novel, Huckleberry Finn, which was published in the late nineteenth century and has been banned frequently since then for his use of racial epithets or simply for being coarse.
Description : In What Is a Book? David Kirby addresses the making and consuming of literature by redefining the four components of the act of reading: writer, reader, critic, and book. He discusses his students, his work, and his practice as a teacher, writer, critic, and reader, and positions his theories and opinions as products of "real" life as much as academic exercise. Among the ideas animating the book are Kirby's beliefs that "devotion is more important than dissection" and "practice is more important than theory." Covering an impressive range of writers--from Emerson, Poe, and Melville to James Dickey, Charles Wright, Richard Howard, Susan Montez, and others--Kirby considers the evolution of critical theory from the nineteenth century to the late twentieth and explores the role of criticism in contemporary culture. Drawing from his experience writing poetry and reading to children at a local housing project, he answers two of his four central questions: "What is a reader?" and "What is a writer?" In the largest section of the book, "What Is a Critic?," Kirby demonstrates his passionate engagement with the function of the critic in literary culture and offers both overviews and close examinations of literary theory, book reviewing, and the historical background of criticism from its earliest beginnings. In the final section of the book, he addresses the question "What is a book?" with an examination of the reading preferences of older readers. Kirby's analysis of those responses, along with his own notions of the literary canon, is an insightful excursion into how books are valued. Deeply learned and wonderfully entertaining, What Is a Book? is a lucid look at the whole of literary culture. Kirby makes us think about the books we love and why we love them.
Description : You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", but that ain't no matter. So begins, in characteristic fashion, one of the greatest American novels. Narrated by a poor, illiterate white boy living in America's deep South before the Civil War, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of Huck's escape from his brutal father and the relationship that grows between him and Jim, the slave who is fleeing from an even more brutal oppression. As they journey down the Mississippi their adventures address some of the most profound human conundrums: the prejudices of class, age, and colour are pitted against the qualities of hope, courage, and moral character. Enormously influential in the development of American literature, Huckleberry Finn remains a controversial novel at the centre of impassioned critical debate. This edition discusses all the current issues and the evolution of Mark Twain's penetrating genius. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Description : If racially offensive epithets are banned on CNN air time and in the pages of USA Today, Jonathan Arac asks, shouldn’t a fair hearing be given to those who protest their use in an eighth-grade classroom? Placing Mark Twain’s comic masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn, in the context of long-standing American debates about race and culture, Jonathan Arac has written a work of scholarship in the service of citizenship. Huckleberry Finn, Arac points out, is America’s most beloved book, assigned in schools more than any other work because it is considered both the “quintessential American novel” and “an important weapon against racism.” But when some parents, students, and teachers have condemned the book’s repeated use of the word “nigger,” their protests have been vehemently and often snidely countered by cultural authorities, whether in the universities or in the New York Times and the Washington Post. The paradoxical result, Arac contends, is to reinforce racist structures in our society and to make a sacred text of an important book that deserves thoughtful reading and criticism. Arac does not want to ban Huckleberry Finn, but to provide a context for fairer, fuller, and better-informed debates. Arac shows how, as the Cold War began and the Civil Rights movement took hold, the American critics Lionel Trilling, Henry Nash Smith, and Leo Marx transformed the public image of Twain’s novel from a popular “boy’s book” to a central document of American culture. Huck’s feelings of brotherhood with the slave Jim, it was implied, represented all that was right and good in American culture and democracy. Drawing on writings by novelists, literary scholars, journalists, and historians, Arac revisits the era of the novel’s setting in the 1840s, the period in the 1880s when Twain wrote and published the book, and the post–World War II era, to refute many deeply entrenched assumptions about Huckleberry Finn and its place in cultural history, both nationally and globally. Encompassing discussion of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, Archie Bunker, James Baldwin, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, and Mark Fuhrman, Arac’s book is trenchant, lucid, and timely.
Description : Putting Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in historical context, connecting it to pivotal issues like slavery, class, money, and American economic expansion, this book engages readers by presenting American history through the lens of a great novel. • Presents Twain's book as a historical novel that brings up key historical issues both in the antebellum period in which the novel is set and in the post-Reconstruction period in which it was written • Identifies how Huckleberry Finn underscores perhaps the cruelest aspect of slavery: the involuntary separation of husbands, wives, and children from each other • Ideal reading for college and high school students taking American history classes as well as general readers with an interest in American history, Mark Twain, or both • Provides extensive annotations that are useful, accessible, and interesting to readers without specialized knowledge of 19th-century history
Description : The 12 original and two classic essays offer a dialectic on performance and structure, and substantially advance our knowledge of this seminal playwright.