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EDITOR'S COMMENT Mark Twain and Studies in American Fiction—companionable over the years, yet not inseparable. Not every issue of SAF has included a piece about the Sage of Elmira, although this editor sometimes feels that the task of reading Twain commentary is never-ending. Certainly Hemingway told an important part of the truth when he pointed to Twain's centrality in American experience. During 1991, for example, Twain suddenly reclaimed headline attention in the New York Times, with news and gossip concerning several mysterious trunks of manuscript materials. Veteran Twain scholars have urged caution, but a full scale investigation of this Hadleyburg horde is now underway and interesting results should be reported soon. Meanwhile, to mark this occasion, SAF is pleased to present in the following pages a selection of recent submissions, essays and reviews that testify once more to the persistent importance of Mark Twain as a writer of fiction. Even in an election year, he is one incumbent American original whose office remains secure. Earl N. Harbert SAF marks with sadness the death of Walter Blair, noted Twain scholar and authority on American humor. Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Chicago and recently the recipient of the first Distinguished Scholar Award granted by the Mark Twain Circle, Walter Blair left his mark on generations of students and scholars. The essays published in this number of SAF bear witness to his abiding importance for Twain studies. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends. A new international Theodore Dreiser Society has been officially formed. It is an association of prominent scholars, professors, graduate students, and other persons who have a sustained interest in the life and works of Dreiser. The Society will be holding its third annual business meeting at the American Literature Association Conference tentatively scheduled for Baltimore, Maryland, May 27—30, 1993. Persons interested in attending the meeting or receiving further information about membership may write or telephone Professor Miriam Gogol at 217 Highbrook Avenue , Pelham, NY 10803; (914) 738-2003. M. L. ...


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