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Mark Twain

Author: Larzer Ziff
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Mark Twain emerges in this book as something of a paradox. His humor made him rich and famous, but he was unhappy with the role of humorist. He satirized the rapacious economic practices of his society, yet was caught up in those very practices himself. He was a literary genius who revolutionized the national literature, yet was unable to resist whatever quirky notion or joke that crossed his mind, often straying  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ziff, Larzer, 1927-
Mark Twain.
New York : Oxford University Press, 2004
(OCoLC)645917553
Named Person: Mark Twain; Mark Twain
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Larzer Ziff
ISBN: 0195170199 9780195170191
OCLC Number: 54416085
Description: 126 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Celebrity --
Tourist --
Novelist --
Humorist.
Responsibility: Larzer Ziff.
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Abstract:

Mark Twain is one of the first volumes in the Lives and Legacies series on notable figures. Ziff considers Twain's career and his works in the context of the literary and social culture of his time  Read more...

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"Larzer Ziff has a critical method, the one recommended by T.S. Eliot, that of being very intelligent. He employs it again in his new book, a 'brief life' of Mark Twain. It is a web of perceptions, Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""Mark Twain emerges in this book as something of a paradox. His humor made him rich and famous, but he was unhappy with the role of humorist. He satirized the rapacious economic practices of his society, yet was caught up in those very practices himself. He was a literary genius who revolutionized the national literature, yet was unable to resist whatever quirky notion or joke that crossed his mind, often straying from his plot or contradicting his theme. Ziff offers an account of Twain's early years, explores all his major fiction, and concludes with a consideration of his craftsmanship and his strength as a cultural critic. He offers insight into Twain's travel writings, providing for example an account of Following the Equator, perhaps Twain's most underrated work. Throughout the book, Ziff examines Twain's writings in light of the literary cultures of his day - from frontier humorists to Matthew Arnold - and of parallel literary works of his time - comparing, for example, A Connecticut Yankee with major utopian works of the same decade. Thus the book is both a work of literary criticism and of cultural history."--Jacket."
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