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By Richard Marsh

They are saying that every one is reasonable in love and conflict, and during this mystery from popular British writer Richard Marsh, what starts off as a narrative of romance quickly becomes whatever that extra heavily resembles an armed conflict. Will the newlyweds triumph over the evil of their midst and stay fortunately ever after? try out A Duel to determine.

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T While as far as we can tell, Twain never heard blues music as such, he heard the various American musics, including the Negro spirituals, that blended to become the blues. And there is a 舠nobody knows the trouble I see舡 as well as a 舠glory Hallelujah舡 shout in the blues. Both extremes of feeling find their way into this novel, Huckleberry Finn. If Huckleberry Finn may be read as a blues narrative, with blues characters and plotlines, the book舗s mode of composition by improvisation also is strongly suggestive of the blues.

Lord knows, as a student I had sat in classes where 舠Nigger Jim舡 (that much-bandied title never once used by Twain but weirdly adopted by innumerable teachers and scholars, including some of the best and brightest, as we shall see) was discussed by my well-intentioned white classmates and professors whose love of the novel evidently was unimpeded by this brutal language. (Did some of them delight in the license to use this otherwise taboo term? ) Using some of these ideas about democracy and race (including some of my doubts and questions), for fifteen years I taught Huckleberry Finn at Howard, at Wesleyan, and then at Barnard.

Actually I was taught the book twice, once in a course in modern fiction classics (along with Cervantes, Mann, Conrad, Wolfe, Faulkner), then in a course tracing great themes in American literature, including those of democracy and race. In both these classes, Mark Twain and his Huckleberry Finn appeared as heroic and timeless exemplars of modernism in terms of both literary form and progressive political thought. Here was an American novel told not from the standpoint or in the language of Europe but from the position of the poor but daring and brilliant river-rat Huck, whose tale was spun in lingo we could tell was plain Americanese舒why, anybody could tell it, as the boy himself might say.

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