The Routledge Encyclopedia of Mark Twain

Author: J. R. LeMaster

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 848

View: 373

"A model reference work that can be used with profit and delight by general readers as well as by more advanced students of Twain. Highly recommended." - Library Journal The Routledge Encyclopedia of Mark Twain includes more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries that cover a full variety of topics on this major American writer's life, intellectual milieu, literary career, and achievements. Because so much of Twain's travel narratives, essays, letters, sketches, autobiography, journalism and fiction reflect his personal experience, particular attention is given to the delicate relationship between art and life, between artistic interpretations and their factual source. This comprehensive resource includes information on: Twain's life and times: the author's childhood in Missouri and apprenticeship as a riverboat pilot, early career as a journalist in the West, world travels, friendships with well-known figures, reading and education, family life and career Complete Works: including novels, travel narratives, short stories, sketches, burlesques, and essays Significant characters, places, and landmarks Recurring concerns, themes or concepts: such as humor, language; race, war, religion, politics, imperialism, art and science Twain's sources and influences. Useful for students, researchers, librarians and teachers, this volume features a chronology, a special appendix section tracking the poet's genealogy, and a thorough index. Each entry also includes a bibliography for further study.

Heaven in the American Imagination

Author: Gary Scott Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 360

View: 959

Does heaven exist? If so, what is it like? And how does one get in? Throughout history, painters, poets, philosophers, pastors, and many ordinary people have pondered these questions. Perhaps no other topic captures the popular imagination quite like heaven. Gary Scott Smith examines how Americans from the Puritans to the present have imagined heaven. He argues that whether Americans have perceived heaven as reality or fantasy, as God's home or a human invention, as a source of inspiration and comfort or an opiate that distracts from earthly life, or as a place of worship or a perpetual playground has varied largely according to the spirit of the age. In the colonial era, conceptions of heaven focused primarily on the glory of God. For the Victorians, heaven was a warm, comfortable home where people would live forever with their family and friends. Today, heaven is often less distinctively Christian and more of a celestial entertainment center or a paradise where everyone can reach his full potential. Drawing on an astounding array of sources, including works of art, music, sociology, psychology, folklore, liturgy, sermons, poetry, fiction, jokes, and devotional books, Smith paints a sweeping, provocative portrait of what Americans-from Jonathan Edwards to Mitch Albom-have thought about heaven.

The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900

Author: Michael J. Crowe

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 704

View: 330

Detailed, scholarly study examines the ideas that developed between 1750 and 1900 regarding the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, including those of Kant, Herschel, Voltaire, Lowell, many others. 16 illustrations.

Southern Writers

A New Biographical Dictionary

Author: Joseph M. Flora

Publisher: LSU Press

ISBN:

Category: Reference

Page: 504

View: 923

This new edition of Southern Writers assumes its distinguished predecessor's place as the essential reference on literary artists of the American South. Broadly expanded and thoroughly revised, it boasts 604 entries-nearly double the earlier edition's-written by 264 scholars. For every figure major and minor, from the venerable and canonical to the fresh and innovative, a biographical sketch and chronological list of published works provide comprehensive, concise, up-to-date information. Here in one convenient source are the South's novelists and short story writers, poets and dramatists, memoirists and essayists, journalists, scholars, and biographers from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. What constitutes a "southern writer" is always a matter for debate. Editors Joseph M. Flora and Amber Vogel have used a generous definition that turns on having a significant connection to the region, in either a personal or literary sense. New to this volume are younger writers who have emerged in the quarter century since the dictionary's original publication, as well as older talents previously unknown or unacknowledged. For almost every writer found in the previous edition, a new biography has been commissioned. Drawn from the very best minds on southern literature and covering the full spectrum of its practitioners, Southern Writers is an indispensable reference book for anyone intrigued by the subject.

Is He Dead?

A Comedy in Three Acts

Author: Mark Twain

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 246

View: 346

The University of California Press is delighted to announce the new publication of this three-act play by one of America's most important and well-loved writers. A highly entertaining comedy that has never appeared in print or on stage, Is He Dead? is finally available to the wide audience Mark Twain wished it to reach. Written in 1898 in Vienna as Twain emerged from one of the deepest depressions of his life, the play shows its author's superb gift for humor operating at its most energetic. The text of Is He Dead?, based on the manuscript in the Mark Twain Papers, appears here together with an illuminating essay by renowned Mark Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin and with Barry Moser's original woodcut illustrations in a volume that will surely become a treasured addition to the Mark Twain legacy. Richly intermingling elements of burlesque, farce, and social satire with a wry look at the world market in art, Is He Dead? centers on a group of poor artists in Barbizon, France, who stage the death of a friend to drive up the price of his paintings. In order to make this scheme succeed, the artists hatch some hilarious plots involving cross-dressing, a full-scale fake funeral, lovers' deceptions, and much more. Mark Twain was fascinated by the theater and made many attempts at playwriting, but this play is certainly his best. Is He Dead? may have been too "out there" for the Victorian 1890s, but today's readers will thoroughly enjoy Mark Twain's well-crafted dialogue, intriguing cast of characters, and above all, his characteristic ebullience and humor. In Shelley Fisher Fishkin's estimation, it is "a champagne cocktail of a play--not too dry, not too sweet, with just the right amount of bubbles and buzz."

The A to Z of Fantasy Literature

Author: Brian Stableford

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 568

View: 930

Once upon a time all literature was fantasy, set in a mythical past when magic existed, animals talked, and the gods took an active hand in earthly affairs. As the mythical past was displaced in Western estimation by the historical past and novelists became increasingly preoccupied with the present, fantasy was temporarily marginalized until the late 20th century, when it enjoyed a spectacular resurgence in every stratum of the literary marketplace. Stableford provides an invaluable guide to this sequence of events and to the current state of the field. The chronology tracks the evolution of fantasy from the origins of literature to the 21st century. The introduction explains the nature of the impulses creating and shaping fantasy literature, the problems of its definition and the reasons for its changing historical fortunes. The dictionary includes cross-referenced entries on more than 700 authors, ranging across the entire historical spectrum, while more than 200 other entries describe the fantasy subgenres, key images in fantasy literature, technical terms used in fantasy criticism, and the intimately convoluted relationship between literary fantasies, scholarly fantasies, and lifestyle fantasies. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography that ranges from general textbooks and specialized accounts of the history and scholarship of fantasy literature, through bibliographies and accounts of the fantasy literature of different nations, to individual author studies and useful websites.

Like Shaking Hands with God

A Conversation about Writing

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN:

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 38

View: 491

Like Shaking Hands with God details a collaborative journey on the art of writing undertaken by two distinguished writers separated by age, race, upbringing, and education, but sharing common goals and aspirations. Rarely have two writers spoken so candidly about the intersection where the lives they live meet the art they practice. That these two writers happen to be Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer makes this a historic and joyous occasion. The setting was a bookstore in New York City, the date Thursday, October 1, 1998. Before a crowd of several hundred, Vonnegut and Stringer took up the challenge of writing books that would make a difference and the concomitant challenge of living from day to day. As Vonnegut said afterward, ""It was a magical evening."" A book for anyone interested in why the simple act of writing things down can be more important than the amount of memory in our computers.

The Portable Mark Twain

Author: Mark Twain

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN:

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 640

View: 349

Satirist, novelist, and keen observer of the American scene, Mark Twain remains one of the world's best-loved writers. This delightful collection of Twain?s favorite and most memorable writings includes selected tales and sketches such as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, How I Edited an Agricultural Journal Once, Jim Baker's Blue-Jay Yarn, and A True Story. It also features excerpts from his novels and travel books (including Roughing It, The Innocents Abroad, and Life on the Mississippi, among others; autobiographical and polemical writings; as well as selected letters and speeches. The collection also reprints the complete text of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, including the often omitted raftsmen passage. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.