Mark Twain Roughing It (Mark Twain Library)

ISBN 13: 9780520238923

Roughing It (Mark Twain Library)

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9780520238923: Roughing It (Mark Twain Library)

o Includes all 304 first-edition illustrations by True Williams, Edward F. Mullen, and others

o Provides the first and only text that adheres to the author's wishes in details of wording, spelling, and punctuation, restored from original sources.

o Features expert annotation, specially prepared maps, facsimile manuscript pages, and other supplementary documents

o Reproduces the text and notes of the Mark Twain Project's 1993 edition, winner of the Modern Language Association Prize for a "Distinguished Scholarly Edition"
Mark Twain's humorous account of his six years in Nevada, San Francisco, and the Sandwich Islands is a patchwork of personal anecdotes and tall tales, many of them told in the "vigorous new vernacular" of the West. Selling seventy five thousand copies within a year of its publication in 1872, Roughing It was greeted as a work of "wild, preposterous invention and sublime exaggeration" whose satiric humor made "pretension and false dignity ridiculous." Meticulously restored from a variety of original sources, the text is the first to adhere to the author's wishes in thousands of details of wording, spelling, and punctuation, and includes all of the 304 first-edition illustrations. With its comprehensive and illuminating notes and supplementary materials, which include detailed maps tracing Mark Twain's western travels, this Mark Twain Library Roughing It must be considered the standard edition for readers and students of Mark Twain.

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Review:

There is no nicer surprise for a reader than to discover that an acknowledged classic really does deliver the goods. Mark Twain's Roughing It is just such a book. The adventure tale is a delight from start to finish and is just as engrossing today as it was 125 years ago when it first appeared.

Roughing It tells the true-ish escapades of Twain in the American West. Although he clearly "speaks with forked tongue," Roughing It is informative as well as humorous. From stagecoach travel to the etiquette of prospecting, the modern reader gains considerable insight into that much-fictionalized time and place. Do you know about sagebrush, for example?

Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. But their testimony to its nutritiousness is worth nothing, for they will eat pine knots, or anthracite coal, or brass filings, or lead pipe, or old bottles, or anything that comes handy, and then go off looking as grateful as if they had had oysters for dinner.
Roughing It is informally structured around the narrator's attempts to strike it rich. He meets a motley, colorful crew in the process; many mishaps occur, and it shouldn't surprise you that Twain does not emerge a man of means. But he withstands it all in such a relentless good humor that his misfortune inspires laughter. Roughing It is wonderful entertainment and reminds you how funny the world can be--even its grimmer districts--when you're traveling with the right writer.

From the Publisher:

12 1.5-hour cassettes

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Twain, Mark
Published by University of California Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0520238923 ISBN 13: 9780520238923
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Twain, Mark
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