Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer

'It’s hard to read Ron Powers’ engaging new Mark Twain: A Life (Free Press) and not conclude that there’s a congenital defect in the very heart of American literature. Powers, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Flags of Our Fathers, argues that the man born Samuel Clemens "democratized the national voice by availing it of vernacular; rough action that sprawled over waterway and open terrain; comedy political consciousness, and skepticism toward the very idea of lofty instruction."' More


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