Stock Image

Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture.

Twain, Mark] Fishkin, Shelley Fisher.

Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 1996
ISBN 10: 0195105311 / ISBN 13: 9780195105315
Used / Quantity Available: 1
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)
Available From More Booksellers
View all  copies of this book
Add to basket
Price: 54.73
Convert Currency
Shipping: 0
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

Save for Later

About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections ...

Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Edition: First Printing of the First US Edition.


A Fine tight unread copy in a Fine bright unclipped dust jacket. Shelley Fisher has undertaken a personal exploration of the man and the myth known as Mark Twain. She travelled extensively in and around Twain's primary places of residence seeking evidence of the influences that impacted who and what Mark Twain would become not only during his time but also ours. The author goes on to show Twain's pervasive presence in American literature and culture. This is a Review Copy with a press release laid in. Bookseller Inventory # 23255

About this title:

Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
3.83 avg rating
(23 ratings)

Synopsis: Mark Twain has been called the American Cervantes, our Homer, our Tolstoy, our Shakespeare. Ernest Hemingway maintained that "all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the phrase "New Deal" from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Twain's Gilded Age gave an entire era its name. Twain is everywhere--in ads for Bass Ale, in episodes of "Star Trek," as a greeter in Nevada's Silver Legacy casino. Clearly, the reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. In Lighting Out for the Territory, Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin blends personal narrative with reflections on history, literature, and popular culture to provide a lively and provocative look at who Mark Twain really was, how he got to be that way, and what we do with his legacy today.
Fishkin illuminates the many ways that America has embraced Mark Twain--from the scenes and plots of his novels, to his famous quips, to his bushy-haired, white-suited persona. She reveals that we have constructed a Twain often far removed from the actual writer. For instance, we travel to Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's home town, a locale that in his work is both the embodiment of the innocence of childhood and also an emblem of hypocrisy, barbarity, and moral rot. The author spotlights the fact that Hannibal today attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and takes in millions yearly, by focusing on Tom Sawyer's boyhood exploits--marble-shoots and white-washed fences--and ignoring Twain's portraits of the darker side of the slave South. The narrative moves back and forth from modern Hannibal to antebellum Hannibal and to Mark Twain's childhood experiences with brutality and slavery. Her exploration of those subjects in his work shows that Tom Sawyer's fence isn't the only thing being white-washed in Hannibal. Fishkin's research yields fresh insights into the remarkable story of how this child of slaveholders became the author of the most powerful anti-racist novel by an American.
Whether lending his name to a pizza parlor in Louisiana, a diner in Jackson Heights, New York, or an asteroid in outer space, whether making cameo appearances on "Cheers" and "Bonanza," or turning up in novels as a detective or a love interest, Mark Twain's presence in contemporary culture is pervasive and intriguing. Fishkin's wide-ranging examination of that presence demonstrates how Twain and his work echo, ripple, and reverberate throughout our society. We learn that Walt Disney was a great fan of Twain's fiction (in fact, "Tom Sawyer's Island" in Disneyland is the only part of the park that Disney himself designed) as is Chuck Jones, who credits the genesis of cartoon character Wile E. Coyote to the comic description of a coyote in Roughing It. We learn of Mark Twain impersonators (Hal Holbrook, for instance, has played Twain in some 1,500 performances) and recent movie versions of Twain books, such as A Million to Juan. And we discover how Twain's image can be seen in claymation, in animatronics and robotics, in virtual reality, and on any number of home-pages on the Internet.
Lighting Out for the Territory offers an engrossing look at how Mark Twain's life and work have been cherished, memorialized, exploited, and misunderstood. It offers a wealth of insight into Twain, into his work, and into our nation, both past and present.

Review: Mark Twain once jotted in his notebook, "No, I am not an American, I am the American." He may have been joking or perhaps just thinking on the page, but he was close to the truth: he is everywhere in American society.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, editor of the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain, has written an engaging travel book based on her rambles, both literal and intellectual, through the vast realm of Twain. From children in Hannibal, Missouri, performing a Tom Sawyer pageant to horribly mistaken intellectuals railing against Huckleberry Finn, Fishkin has ranged far and wide, searching for what Twain means today.

Lighting Out for the Territory tackles such serious intellectual issues as the perpetual accusation that Twain was a racist. It also provides entertaining digressions into Twain's appearances in pop culture, ranging from beer ads to an appearance on Star Trek.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Bookseller & Payment Information

Payment Methods

This bookseller accepts the following methods of payment:

  • American Express
  • Bank Draft
  • Bank/Wire Transfer
  • Check
  • MasterCard
  • Money Order
  • Visa

[Search this Seller's Books]

[List this Seller's Books]

[Ask Bookseller a Question]

Bookseller: Gregor Rare Books
Address: Langley, WA, U.S.A.

AbeBooks Bookseller Since: 26 April 1997
Bookseller Rating: 2-star rating

Terms of Sale:

If you don't see something in our inventory, feel free to let us know what your specific wants are. We have success in locating hard to find books.
TERMS: All items are subject to prior sale. All items are first printings
unless otherwise stated. Autographs are guaranteed to be authentic and items
are returnable for any reason within 7 days of receipt. Washington
state residence will be charged 8.7% state sales t...

[More Information]

Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

Store Description: We operate an open shop at 197A Second Street in the beautiful waterfront Book Town of Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle. We are open daily at 10:00 am; closing times are variable. Sunday's are by chance.