By Harold Bloom, Mark Twain
-- offers crucial 20th-century feedback on significant works from The Odyssey via sleek literature-- The serious essays mirror a number of faculties of criticism-- includes serious biographies, notes at the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's existence, and an index
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Additional info for Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
One of the most problematic of artistic challenges, the sequel is a paradox because of the inherent demands on its form. A sequel must share some of the qualities of the first work without repeating them, extend the first work without violating its premises, and it must be good or better. ” This can be seen in the opening stance of Huckleberry Finn. A character born in work one (self ) now introduces work two (other) and insists that work one is irrelevant. Even the vocabulary of those first two paragraphs points to the rhetorical dilemma.
The question is which text is the “main one,” and how can an author “stretch” it into a sequel? 6 A “strong” poet, according to Bloom, misreads earlier poems so as to achieve difference; an author writing a sequel must achieve differences and resemblance. 7 The children who accommodate oedipal phase anxiety most successfully The Role of the Paternal in the Opening Chapters of Huckleberry Finn 31 emerge neither as copies of their same-sex parents nor as opposite versions of them; instead, they enjoy resembling the parent in some ways while taking pride in the strengths which are theirs alone.
However, as Note A-10, urging the resurrection of the raft, indicates, Twain found the structural plan of his second work period insufficient for some reason, possibly because it was not readily expandable. Faced with the necessity of carrying on with a story he apparently had thought was almost finished he sought a means of adding to what he had already written. The device he adopted, as the resurrection of the raft suggests, is ... 2 A realization of the fact that neither Jim and Huck nor their creator initially envisioned a raft journey down the Mississippi can thus contribute to our understanding of unplumbed depths in Twain’s novel.