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

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher

27 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195105311 / ISBN 13: 9780195105315
Published by Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A.: Oxford Univ Pr, 1996
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Mima Mia Books (Boston, MA, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

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

Publisher: Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A.: Oxford Univ Pr

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title


Mark Twain has been called the American Cervantes, the United States' Homer, Tolstoy, and 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 advertisements 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. This book is intended for scholars and students of American literature, and American cultural studies.


Lighting Out for the Territory is an energetic report on how Twain's attitude toward race developed, how his works have been used and abused, and how the image of himself that he so carefully invented has been coerced in making guest appearances in other people's fiction, movies, plays. (Washington Post)

Ms. Fishkin's reflections on Mark Twain and American culture are an illuminating companion to any consideration of Twain's work. (New York Times Book Review)

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