Lighting Out for the Territory

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

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 167.64 x 243.84 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195105311
  • 9780195105315

About Shelley Fisher Fishkin

About the Author: Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Professor of American Studies and of English at the University of Texas, at Austin. She is the author of the highly acclaimed study Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices and the award-winning book From Fact to Fiction: Journalism & Imaginative Writing in America, and is the Editor of The Oxford Mark Twain.
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Rating details

27 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 19% (5)
4 48% (13)
3 30% (8)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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