In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

AESTHETIC ANOMALIES IN PUDD'NHEAD WILSON Philip Cohen* In the last four decades, several scholars have pointed out anomalies that exist in Pudd'nhead Wilson because two of the novel's characters were unseparated Siamese twins in the manuscript (now at the Morgan Library) and are ordinary fraternal twins in the published book. George Feinstein was the first to list the numerous slips that remained after Twain separated Angelo and Luigi into ordinary twins.1 For example, at the start of Chapter VI of the published novel, Angelo tells Aunt Patsy that " 'Our parents were well to do, there in Italy, and we were their only child' " (p. 334).2 Angelo also remarks in the same chapter that " Our parents could have made themselves comfortable by exhibiting us as a show, and they had many and large offers' " (p. 334). Anne Wigger made a more significant study of the way Twain's excisions from the Morgan Manuscript's Chapter X obscured "to some extent his examination of the effects of slavery"3 even though she concluded that Twain's deletions of farcical material enabled "a powerful work"4 to emerge. Wigger also pointed out that the first thing inscribed in the manuscript was the arrival of the letter from the Twins,5 but it was left for Arlin Turner to write the first detailed account of the order in which the Morgan Manuscript was inscribed, "Mark Twain and the South: An Affair of Love and Anger."6 Recently Hershel Parker and Henry Binder have pointed out that aesthetic anomalies result from the fact that the order of inscription does not match the order of the published book.7 What is needed now is an attempt at a thorough examination of such aesthetic anomalies in Pudd'nhead Wilson, a much more interesting and significant set of anomalies than the ones Feinstein and others have pointed out. Arguing that Twain's "plans for Pudd'nhead Wilson changed radically as the writing progressed" and that the first part of the novel was the last written, Turner laid out the three-stage process by which Pudd'nhead Wilson was composed.8 As Turner showed, the Morgan Manuscript was composed in three distinct stages each of which was informed by a different intention.9 The remnants of the first stage of the 'Philip Cohen is a graduate student at the University of Delaware. He has published an article on The Ruined Cottage in The Journal of Narrative Technique and is currently doing research on F. Scott Fitzgerald's prose and on the composition of The Waste Land. 56Philip Cohen Morgan Manuscript that survive into the published novel include the middle chapters of Pudd'nhead Wilson in which the Twins arrive at Dawson's Landing, Wilson sees a girl in Tom Driscoll's bedroom, the Twins and Tom first meet each other at Wilson's house, and Tom is kicked out over the heads of the Sons of Liberty.10 Throughout this stage, Twain's emphasis is primarily on the farcical problems that arise from the fact that Luigi and Angelo are unseparated Siamese twins. The original conception of Tom Driscoll, Turner argued in "Mark Twain and the South," is that of a white sneak thief.11 Twain first thought of not telling the reader explicitly that Tom is a thief; instead he at least temporarily left it up to the reader to realize that the girl in Tom's bedroom is really Tom in disguise. Hereafter this stage will be referred to as I (Twins-Center); the roman numeral refers to when the section was inscribed, "Twins" to the general subject-matter, and "Center" to the position of the section in the published novel.12 The remnants of the second stage in the published novel consist of the chapters in which Tom sells Roxy down the river into slavery, she returns, Tom murders the Judge, and Wilson exposes Tom at the trial.13 This stage will be referred to as II (Trial-Conclusion). Here Twain's intentions have shifted radically: the Twins have dropped into the background and the plot is the middle and end of what is now Pudd'nhead Wilson. While all such...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2158-5806
Print ISSN
0091-8083
Pages
pp. 55-59
Launched on MUSE
2014-10-01
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.