Annotated Bibliography of Mark Twain
Budd, Louis J. Mark Twain: social philosopher. University of Missouri Press, 2001.
Budd’s classic text, first published in 1962, explores Twain’s political, social, and philosophical views. It studies them in the context of his writings, letters, and books and probes the author’s personal evolution over time. Budd looks at Twain’s views on American politics, capitalism, women, slavery, the Civil War, and imperialism. His thesis is that Twain’s views were complex and changed over time, but that ultimately he was an old fashioned 19th century liberal who had views that would not easily be accepted in today’s world. “Though critics will concentrate on the formalized texts, recovering the full shape of Twain’s ideas requires going deeper into the gregarious socializing with many self-confident men and a few feminists.”(Budd, 14) This text is reliable because Budd used Twain’s own extensive writings and letters to articulate his philosophical views. Moreover, Budd was a lifelong historian and critic of Twain and edited a two volume collected works from the author. I will use this book to discuss Twain’s perspective on racial issues, anti-imperialism, and American politics and relate them to his novels and short stories. This book is an excellent exploration of Twain’s changing views. However, it is a relatively challenging read and is best suited for readers already familiar with the author’s work and with 19th century history. I would recommend this book to anyone who already has some knowledge of Twain’s works.
Carkeet, David. "The Dialects in Huckleberry Finn." American Literature 51.3 (November 1979): 315-332. Academic Search Complete. TCC Library, Fort Worth, TX. October 4, 2012
David Carkeet studies Twain’s use of dialect and idiomatic speech in the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. In particular, he probes whether Twain in fact followed the announcement at the beginning of the book suggesting that seven dialects and variants of Southern English are spoken in the text. Carkeet’s thesis is that Twain does in fact follow to a great extent his written intention in writing the characters in different forms of English, including Southwestern, Black, and Missouri Pike County accents. For Carkeet, the dialects of the various characters are best compared to Huck’s own speech, which serves as the default standard in the story. “A detailed examination of Huckleberry Finn shows that there are differences in the way people speak that are too systematic to be accidental.”(Carkeet, 316) This source is reliable because Carkeet extensively covers the speech patterns in Huckleberry Finn and cites examples directly from the original text. He actually breaks down examples of how different characters say the same words and phrases differently. I will use this article to discuss how Twain made use of vernacular English and local speech to immerse readers in the world of Missouri and the South that he grew up with. This article is easy to understand and is an excellent complement to reading Twain’s book from a fresh perspective. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about Twain, or get a better understanding of the time.
Gribben, Alan. "The Importance of Mark Twain." American Quarterly 37.1 (January 1985): 30-49. America: History and Life. TCC Library, Ft. Worth, TX. October17, 2012
Alan Gribben’s article discusses the reception of Mark Twain’s writings by other authors and by literary critics. It addresses Twain’s unique position as a humorist and a classic author in the American canon. The author’s thesis is that Twain had a unique comic voice in his writings that were flexible and supple enough to still resonate with modern audiences whereas many other writers from the period now sound dated. “Nevertheless, Mark Twain’s literary stature has suffered, from time to time, because of his predilection for comic...
Bibliography: Moore, Olin Harris. "Mark Twain and Don Quixote." PMLA 37.2 (June 1922): 324-346. TCC Library, Ft. Worth, TX. October 2, 2012.
Powers, Ron. Mark Twain: A Life. New York Free Press, 2005.
Railton, Stephen. “Mark Twain in his Times.” University of Virginia Library. 2012. October 2012. http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/index2.html.
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