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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2012
February 18 is a day to celebrate, because it was on February 18, 1885, that Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , the definitive American novel. Ernest Hemingway famously said, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.' " Calling it "one of the great masterpieces of the world," H. L. Mencken said, "I believe that Mark Twain had a clearer vision of life, that he came nearer to its elementals and was less deceived by its false appearances, than any other American who has ever presumed to manufacture generalizations, not excepting Emerson.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2014
An inquiry came over the transom yesterday from a reader who cringed at an American Idol  contestant's use of "me and my mom" and "me and my sister," which the writer said was "like fingernails on a chalk board. " My standard reply is that I have my hands full editing the work of professional journalists for publication, and that people's speech, text messages, and other casual writings lie beyond the scope of my writ.  But that is a dodge. Actually, I don't mind the "me ands" all that much.* I think that that statement would strike horror in the English teachers of my childhood, who were at considerable pains to browbeat us into talking proper.** I suggest that you consider what it would be like if everyone spoke using the grammar of standard written English--that is, for example, if everyone were as pompous, polysyllabic, and priggish in speech as I am. You would recoil in horror.  One of the pleasures of encountering demotic speech (from the Greek demos , "the people")
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NEWS
April 7, 1995
Richard E. Jablonski, 67, national president of the Union of Poles in America Inc. since 1962, died Saturday of diabetes in Cleveland. The 100-year-old fraternal insurance organization was formed when Polish immigrants often were denied life insurance because of the dangerous jobs they held in steel mills and factories. It has 10,000 members.Thomas Mandel, 49, a computer wiz who helped shape the development of online media, died Wednesday of lung cancer in Stanford, Calif. A self-proclaimed cyberholic, he played a key role in moving Time, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated onto the commercial online services.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2012
February 18 is a day to celebrate, because it was on February 18, 1885, that Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , the definitive American novel. Ernest Hemingway famously said, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.' " Calling it "one of the great masterpieces of the world," H. L. Mencken said, "I believe that Mark Twain had a clearer vision of life, that he came nearer to its elementals and was less deceived by its false appearances, than any other American who has ever presumed to manufacture generalizations, not excepting Emerson.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | August 23, 1998
Baltimore's top cop remembers getting scolded for reading.That was when police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier was a third-grader hiding under his bedsheets with a penlight hoping to escape the wrath of parents who wanted him to sleep."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | July 29, 2001
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The Only Authoritative Text, by Mark Twain, edited by Victor Fischer and Lin Salamo, with original illustrations by E.W. Kemble and John Harley (The Mark Twain Library, 561 pages, $14.95). Any Mark Twain enthusiast knows that in 1990 significant parts of the original manuscript of Huck Finn -- lost for 100 years --were found in a Los Angeles attic. That material, along with an exhaustive re-examination of other sources and interpretations, has been incorporated into this text.
NEWS
By JAMES J. KILPATRICK | April 3, 1992
A school superintendent in North Carolina last month threw Huck Finn out of his classrooms. I think the gentleman acted properly; and because I have spent my life fighting censorship by the state, I want to brood aloud about the affair.These are the circumstances as reported by the Associated Press. In February, Harold Fleming, interim superintendent of schools in Kinston, North Carolina, directed a middle-school teacher of English not to assign ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' as required reading.
NEWS
By MICHAEL PAKENHAM | July 2, 1995
A naked innocent in the ever-burgeoning jungle of audio-taped books, some time ago I launched an experiment, which now has progressed through three tiers. I have listened to: (1) an abridged version of a frothy entertainment novel, (2) an abridged version of a serious contemporary novel, and now (3) an unabridged recording of a major, complex novel.All three presented surprises. The first two were reported on earlier on these pages. The third, just completed, was humbling, yielding the richest message.
NEWS
By Frank Rich | March 17, 1995
PERHAPS NOT since Ted Danson donned blackface to honor Whoopi Goldberg at the Friars Club has a white man flogged the word "nigger" as publicly as F. Lee Bailey did this week.Mr. Bailey, whose acting skills make Mr. Danson look like an amateur, all but exulted in bellowing out the word for a national TV audience, as if he were looking forward to capping what seems to be a waning legal career by playing the role of Bull Connor in a prequel to "Mississippi Burning."Does this make Mr. Bailey a racist?
FEATURES
By Deirdre Carmody and Deirdre Carmody,New York Times News Service | May 17, 1995
The battle between book publishers for the rights to the original draft of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," which includes unpublished material, has begun in earnest now that the three parties claiming ownership have reached their own settlement.The discovery in 1990 of the first half of the handwritten manuscript, which had been presumed lost for more than 100 years until it was found in a California attic, provides a gold mine for scholars.Victor Doyno, a professor of English and American literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo and president of the Mark Twain Circle of America, likened it to "the British finding a working manuscript of 'King Lear' or 'Hamlet.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | January 9, 2011
It is, perhaps, the seminal moment in American literature. Young Huck Finn, trying to get right with God and save his soul from a forever of fire, sits there with the freshly written note in hand. "Miss Watson," it says, "your runaway n----- Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. " Huck knows it is a sin to steal, and he is whipped by guilt for the role he has played in helping the slave Jim steal himself from a poor old woman who never did Huck any harm.
NEWS
By MICHAEL SHELDEN and MICHAEL SHELDEN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 9, 2005
Mark Twain: A Life Ron Powers Free Press / 691 pages The trouble with theories, says Tom in Tom Sawyer Abroad, is that "there's always a hole in them somewheres, sure, if you look close enough." You would think the legions of critics and biographers who have spent the last 100 years theorizing about Mark Twain's genius might take a hint from Tom and show some restraint. But, no, they keep coming forward year after year, confidently speculating - often with little evidence to back them up - that Twain was secretly gay or a confirmed racist or a sour misogynist or simply a cynical, self-destructive monomaniac.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,Sun Staff | October 17, 2004
Are you hip enough to read a book on the history of hip? To paraphrase what Louis Armstrong said about jazz, if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. But here are some ways to make sure: If you drink Pabst Blue Ribbon while wearing a trucker hat and listening to the Strokes, forget it. If you registered for Friendster within the last year or style your hair into a faux-hawk and take part in flash mobs, forget it. If you use the word metrosexual. If -- heaven help us -- you are a metrosexual.
NEWS
By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 14, 2002
AUTHOR Matthew Olshan will be at the Miller branch library Jan. 30 to talk about his book Finn: A Novel, published by Baltimore-based Bancroft Press. The Baltimore resident plans to discuss his book, which is a modern reworking of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Although the book has been marketed to young adult readers, it is complex enough for older readers to enjoy. Olshan also will discuss Mark Twain and take questions from the audience.
NEWS
August 29, 2001
FIRST IT WAS cows. Now it's books. What it's about is the kind of civic undertaking that Chicago is becoming known for (even when it's not the first, just the largest) and that others find worth copying. According to the New York Times, Chicago officials are asking every adolescent and adult to read To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's novel about racism, between now and Oct. 14. Discussions and other events will be held around the city -- at libraries, bookstores, community centers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | July 29, 2001
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The Only Authoritative Text, by Mark Twain, edited by Victor Fischer and Lin Salamo, with original illustrations by E.W. Kemble and John Harley (The Mark Twain Library, 561 pages, $14.95). Any Mark Twain enthusiast knows that in 1990 significant parts of the original manuscript of Huck Finn -- lost for 100 years --were found in a Los Angeles attic. That material, along with an exhaustive re-examination of other sources and interpretations, has been incorporated into this text.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | October 19, 1990
What reader of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" can forget Huck's last words to us?"I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before."The thought of Huck out there in uncharted territory still having adventures offered a kind of inspiration to some of us who have been all too adopted and sivilized.But that fantasy -- of Huck Finn forever young and sailing down the Mississippi on a raft -- is going to be a little harder to sustain for some viewers of the Disney Channel's "Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" at 7 p.m. Sunday.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | February 14, 1991
HOLLYWOOD -- A priceless "Huckleberry Finn" manuscript discovered stashed away in a librarian's attic here appears destined for the Buffalo public library in New York to which Mark Twain first donated it more than a century ago.Sotheby's of New York, in formally announcing the rare find yesterday, said that there were no plans to auction the manuscript, and the Hollywood librarian who made the discovery said that she probably would return the handwritten papers...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tricia Bishop | April 26, 2001
First-time authors share work experience Three local first-time authors will speak tonight at the Children's Bookstore in Baltimore about writing and publishing their debut novels, all of which are geared toward young-adult readers. Here's the roster: Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of "When I Was Older," the story of 15-year-old Sophie Merdinger, whose family life fell apart three years earlier when her younger brother died of leukemia and her parents' marriage dissolved. The book explores the efforts Sophie makes to crumble the defensive walls she's created.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | July 4, 1999
What's the point? Well, for the fun of it, and to startle myself and maybe a few others into thinking, or thinking a little bit differently. So on this American birthday have a look, give a thought, to the 18 serious nominations on these pages for the most neglected of great American books.They speak for themselves, and I have nothing to add to them -- or detract. I found it pleasing, somehow, that of the 18 responses we are publishing there is not a single duplication. It also charmed me that six of the 18 are books that not only I have not read, but was not aware of.I am ashamed to say I can't be quite sure how many of them I have actually read.
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