How to Tell a Story and Other Essays (1897) (The Oxford Mark Twain)

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9780195101492: How to Tell a Story and Other Essays (1897) (The Oxford Mark Twain)
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"Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences," the best-known and best-loved essay in this collection, is Mark Twain's how-to guide for the would-be author. A hilarious and cutting critique of what not to do, this deliciously wicked essay also lays out what writers should and must do if they want their fiction to live and breathe--as Twain's own fiction always does. In "How to Tell a Story," the title piece, Twain takes on such mysteries as the perfectly-timed pause and the uses of the dead-pan mask, and candidly describes his own efforts to hone his platform skills. In "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us," Twain lays out a job description for the "native novelist" that is as fresh and accurate today as when Twain first wrote it. Anyone who cares about storytelling or writing will find Twain's sage suggestions in this volume compelling and engaging.

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Review:

This book is worthy of being called a classic not only for the wonderful writing, but for the presentation: How to Tell a Story and Other Essays is a facsimile edition of the original first edition published in 1897 under the direction of Mark Twain himself. It is but one volume in the wondrous 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain. The essays, which, besides the title essay, include the devilishly brilliant "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences," "Traveling With a Reformer," and others, were written a century ago, but they bristle with energy and wit. At times we take the great Twain for granted, but this volume of essays serves as a wonderful reminder of what a fine and funny writer he was.

About the Author:

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of American Studies, University of Texas, Austin.

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9780195114188: How to Tell a Story and Other Essays (1897) (The Oxford Mark Twain)

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ISBN 10:  0195114183 ISBN 13:  9780195114188
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1997
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