By R. Kent Rasmussen
A voracious pack-rat, Mark Twain hoarded his readers' letters as did few of his contemporaries. pricey Mark Twain collects two hundred of those letters written by way of a various cross-section of correspondents from round the world—children, farmers, schoolteachers, businessmen, preachers, railroad clerks, inmates of psychological associations, con artists, or even a former president. it's a special and groundbreaking book—the first released number of reader letters to any author of Mark Twain's time. Its contents come up with the money for an extraordinary and exhilarating glimpse into the sensibilities of nineteenth-century humans whereas revealing the effect Samuel L. Clemens had on his readers. Clemens’s personal and infrequently startling reviews and replies also are included.
R. Kent Rasmussen’s broad study presents interesting profiles of the correspondents, whose own tales are frequently as attention-grabbing as their letters. starting from gushing fan appreciations and requests for support and recommendation to feedback for writing initiatives and stinging criticisms, the letters are full of perceptive insights, pathos, and accidental yet usually riotous humor. Many are deeply relocating, various are hilarious, a few can be stunning, yet none are uninteresting.
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Additional info for Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers (Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain, Volume 4)
Contributory to the confusion caused by this ingratiating device is the fact that Burke earnestly strives to be at one with even those who differ most from him. Thus, even though what matters most for Burke differs markedly from the central concerns of the New Critics, it must be recognized that an emphasis different from mine, an emphasis, say, on the surface of Burke's language, could lead to conclusions the opposite of those I propose. For Burke, poetry is invariably a form of rhetoric. Because everything is rhetoric, this means that there is nothing special about poetry.
The sharply distinguished attributes characteristic of a classificatory pyramid and the purity and cleanness both of its master abstractions and the hierarchies subsumed beneath them have been dissolved by Burke's pseudodialectics into a muddled conglomeration of free-floating attributes that slide in and out of each other, after the manner of random association. Such equivocal merging would ruin both classifier and dialectician. But it works with brilliant efficacy, especially in A Rhetoric of Motives, as Burke merges everything he touches into his major terms of Identification, Hierarchy, and Mystery.
For Burke, this is simply the raising of the marriage problem, whereupon he goes sailing off into other skies; whereas, in the poem itself, it is the delightful realization that the poet's philosophizing about cosmic 42 Kenneth Burke oneness was in truth a rather scholarly and involuted form of making love to the woman beside him. Sara sees through the subterfuge, Coleridge confesses to her insight, though again in a most abstract form, and the poem concludes on a playfully pious note of solemnity.