Download Mark Twain and Male Friendship: The Twichell, Howells, and by Peter Messent PDF

By Peter Messent

Biographies of America's maximum stand-up comedian abound, yet none have charted the final impression of the major male friendships that profoundly trained his existence and paintings. Combining biography, literary heritage, and gender reports, Mark Twain and Male Friendship offers a welcome new viewpoint because it examines 3 tremendously varied friendships and the stamp they left on Samuel Clemens's lifestyles. With obtainable prose educated via extraordinary examine, the learn presents an illuminating historical past of the friendships it explores, and the non-public and cultural dynamic of the relationships. in relation to Twain and his pastor, Joseph Twichell, emphasis is wear the latter's function as mentor and non secular consultant and on Twain's personal waning feel of spiritual belonging. Messent then shifts gears to contemplate Twain's friendship with fellow writer and collaborator William Dean Howells. interesting in its personal correct, this dating additionally serves as a prism by which to view the literary industry of nineteenth-century the United States. a 3rd, doubtless not going friendship among Twain and traditional Oil government H.H. Rogers specializes in Twain's angle towards enterprise and exhibits how Rogers and his spouse served as a surrogate relations for the novelist after the loss of life of his personal spouse. As he charts those relationships, Messent makes use of current paintings on male friendship, gender roles, and cultural swap as a framework within which to situate altered conceptions of masculinity and of men's roles, not only in marriage yet within the better social networks in their time. In sum, Mark Twain and Male Friendship is not just a worthy new source at the nice novelist but additionally a full of life cultural heritage of male friendship in nineteenth-century the United States.

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Mark Twain and Male Friendship: The Twichell, Howells, and Rogers Friendships

Biographies of America's maximum stand-up comedian abound, yet none have charted the final effect of the foremost male friendships that profoundly educated his existence and paintings. Combining biography, literary background, and gender experiences, Mark Twain and Male Friendship offers a welcome new point of view because it examines 3 drastically assorted friendships and the stamp they left on Samuel Clemens's existence.

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Additional info for Mark Twain and Male Friendship: The Twichell, Howells, and Rogers Friendships

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Stoneley examines written representations of the gold rush alongside biographical detail, and identifies a type of “fault-line” story, addressing “unresolved [gender] issues,” common to the frontier mining setting. 58 But Clemens, in his own self-representations, stepped well back from such fault-lines. ”59 Thus when close homosocial intimacy is described, it is always to take a backward step from it. In Roughing It (1872), he depicts a form of utopian existence when (author and narrator) “Mark Twain” spends time at Lake Tahoe alone with a male companion.

108 This tension between individual and group identity (or—put in slightly different terms—competition and conviviality) provides the wider context for any analysis of fraternal relationships in the period. Dorothy Hammond and Alta Jablow argue that it is the “hunger for affiliation” that explains the ongoing “viability of the myth of friendship” in modern society: “The ideology of friendship—affection, loyalty, and trust—has never gone out of style. . Urbanization, and bureaucratization, social and geographical mobility, all may foster instrumental and expedient relationships, but they surely induce a sense of individual isolation.

From time to time . . S. minister in Germany (and who was a friend of Clemens)—stood at the extreme end of this spectrum. ” His friendships were, according to Robert K. 37 What has all this to do with the male friendships I examine? I would suggest that what we see here are friendships that—by the 1870s and 1880s—had largely moved away from the intimacy and intensity of the sentimental model. Such a move had partly to do with changing conceptions of manliness. 39 Such changes, though, also had Male Friendship and Post-Civil War America 21 much to do with shifts in the parameters of the marriages that partly framed these friendships, and the expression of emotion and intimacy within such boundaries.

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