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Lighting Out for the TerritoryReflections on Mark Twain and American Culture$
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Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195121223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195121223.001.0001

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(p.2) (p.3) Prologue
Lighting Out for the Territory

Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a background of her lifelong fascination with American author, Mark Twain, including snippets of childhood memories and epiphanies over the novelist's books. A brief recounting of the iconic writer's indelible achievements and priceless contributions to American culture and society is made, specifically his role in the creation and marketing of a culture that Americans could be proud of. This is followed by a discussion on how Twain's skill and philosophy has helped broaden and enrich the mindset of generations of Americans. The next two chapters of the book provide insight into the life and milieu of Twain and aims to shed light on the murky intervals of his past. His vulnerabilities, complex personas, and sources of joy and pain are examined. In the final chapter, Twain's teachings and unique point of view is projected onto future generations, transcending race, culture, and geography.

Keywords:   Mark Twain, American, author, culture, society, generations

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