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The American Claimant

The American Claimant Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The American Claimant is enormous fun. I'm here to celebrate the mad energy of this strange novel. In it we have the pleasure of seeing Mark Twain's imagination go berserk," writes Bobbie Ann Mason in her charming introduction to this novel. The American Claimant is a comedy of mistaken identities and multiple role switches — fertile and familiar Mark Twain territory — all revolving around the serious debate between the hereditary aristocracy of Europe and the democracy of America. The central character, Colonel Mulberry Sellers, is an effusive and buoyant mad scientist, brimming with energy and hare-brained ideas, whose voluble wackiness leaves the reader reeling in the wake of inventions that prefigure DNA cloning, fax machines, and photocopiers, and which include a Cursing Phonograph that stores up the profanity necessary for use with sailors at sea. At the same time, Twain delves deeply into issues of constructing self and identity, and into the moral and social questions raised by the increasing capitalism and industrialism of the United States. The American Claimant stands at a juncture between science fiction and fantasy, romance, farce, and political satire. It touches on the themes at the very center of American identity and of Twain's own relationship to American society, woven together in the colorful crazy quilt that is Twain's writing, a brilliant tapestry of free-wheeling American idiom, standard English, and the stuffy utterances of English earls. As Twain himself said while writing The American Claimant, "I think it will simply howl with fun. I wake up in the night laughing."

Synopsis:

"The American Claimant is enormous fun. I'm here to celebrate the mad energy of this strange novel. In it we have the pleasure of seeing Mark Twain's imagination go berserk," writes Bobbie Ann Mason in her introduction. The American Claimant is a comedy of mistaken identities and multiple role switches--fertile and familiar Mark Twain territory. Its cast of characters include an American enamored of British hereditary aristocracy and a British earl entranced by American democracy. The central character, Colonel Mulberry Sellers, is an irrepressible, buoyant mad scientist, Mason writes, "brimming with harebrained ideas. Nothing is impossible for him.... He's totally loopy." His voluble wackiness leaves the reader reeling in the wake of inventions that prefigure DNA cloning, fax machines, and photocopiers. Twain uses this over-the-top comic frame to explore some serious issues as well--such as the construction of self and identity, the role of the press in society, and the moral and social questions raised by capitalism and industrialization in the United States. A unique melange of science fiction and fantasy, romance, farce, and political satire, Twain's least-known comic novel is both thought-provoking and entertaining.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195101430
Introduction:
Mason, Bobbie Ann
Editor:
Fishkin, Shelley Fisher
Author:
null, Shelley Fisher
Author:
Messent, Peter
Author:
null, Bobbie Ann
Author:
null, Mark
Author:
Mason, Bobbie Ann
Author:
null, Peter
Author:
Twain, Mark
Author:
Fishkin, Shelley Fisher
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Literature/English | American Literature | 19th C
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
imitation leather over board burgundy 6062
Series:
Oxford Mark Twain
Series Volume:
250
Publication Date:
19961205
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.80x6.56x1.11 in. 1.49 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The American Claimant
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Product details 368 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195101430 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "The American Claimant is enormous fun. I'm here to celebrate the mad energy of this strange novel. In it we have the pleasure of seeing Mark Twain's imagination go berserk," writes Bobbie Ann Mason in her introduction. The American Claimant is a comedy of mistaken identities and multiple role switches--fertile and familiar Mark Twain territory. Its cast of characters include an American enamored of British hereditary aristocracy and a British earl entranced by American democracy. The central character, Colonel Mulberry Sellers, is an irrepressible, buoyant mad scientist, Mason writes, "brimming with harebrained ideas. Nothing is impossible for him.... He's totally loopy." His voluble wackiness leaves the reader reeling in the wake of inventions that prefigure DNA cloning, fax machines, and photocopiers. Twain uses this over-the-top comic frame to explore some serious issues as well--such as the construction of self and identity, the role of the press in society, and the moral and social questions raised by capitalism and industrialization in the United States. A unique melange of science fiction and fantasy, romance, farce, and political satire, Twain's least-known comic novel is both thought-provoking and entertaining.
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