Airbrushing Out the Naughty Bits: Censoring the Great Books

By |2021-02-23T17:03:44-06:00February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Culture, Great Books, Joseph Pearce, Mark Twain, Senior Contributors|

New, sanitized editions of Mark Twain’s classic novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” airbrush out offensive or racist language. But should words that are offensive or potentially offensive to modern readers be removed from great books? Totalitarian regimes have certain traits in common, irrespective of whether they are considered “socialist,” “national socialist,” “fascist,” or “communist.” One [...]

Going on Pilgrimage With Mark Twain: “The Innocents Abroad”

By |2019-08-23T22:12:18-05:00August 23rd, 2019|Categories: Books, Imagination, Literature, Mark Twain, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Mark Twain is revered today for his liberal sympathies, as a satirist who punctured pomposity, hypocrisy, and pretension. But to dwell only on the “irreverent” aspects of his work is to see only a partial picture. His Christian background is evident throughout “The Innocents Abroad,” which reflects the journey of all human beings to the [...]

Great Books I Wouldn’t Want to Be In (And Some I Would!)

By |2019-04-26T23:13:59-05:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Books, Homer, Jane Austen, Mark Twain|

It is interesting that at least half the great books I considered for this list were stories I would not want to enter, but loved reading. Literature allows us to gain a breadth of experience our own circumstances would not permit and at very little expense to us… If there’s something book lovers like almost [...]

A Connecticut Yankee and the Failure of Progressivism

By |2020-08-21T16:16:34-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, History, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Mark Twain, Modernity, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

No writer so early recognized and so credibly exposed the dangerous inadequacies concealed in the Progressive world view than did Mark Twain in his sardonic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. I. By 1912, the triumph of Progressivism was complete. Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt had advertised themselves as Progressive candidates, and [...]

The Humanity of Huck Finn

By |2021-02-18T10:59:35-06:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Mark Twain, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Wisdom|

Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, "Huckleberry Finn" is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change? Huckleberry [...]

Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Jacobin in King Arthur’s Court

By |2019-11-07T12:46:28-06:00August 14th, 2013|Categories: Bruce Frohnen, Fiction, Mark Twain|

Mark Twain, that teller of tall tales from the American frontier, has an almost mythical status in American literature and culture. The white suit, the wild hair, and the homespun humor have combined to add to his obvious literary skills a mystique that has spawned heroic portrayals in biographical one-man shows and works of fiction [...]

Mark Twain and Russell Kirk against the Machine

By |2019-03-21T12:27:58-05:00April 3rd, 2013|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Mark Twain, Russell Kirk|

Though neither a humanist nor a Christian—nor, for that matter, even a romantic in the vein of Blake who feared the “dark Satanic mills” of Industrial England—Mark Twain identified the late-nineteenth century fear of the machine run amok perfectly in his last novel, the tragically whimsical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. One of [...]

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