Mark Twain—penname of Samuel Clemens (1835-1910)—has been called the father of American literature. Of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ernest Hemingway said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” Twain’s realist fiction reveals timeless truths about human nature and encourages reform in the reader and society.
After all, while American life has dramatically changed since the 1800’s, human nature has not, making Twain’s work as important as ever. With memorable humor and simplicity, he reveals fundamental truths not just about us as Americans, but about the human condition.
I think you will really enjoy this course. I teach the first lecture about the study of literature at Hillsdale College, and two of the College’s bright young professors—Kelly Scott Franklin and Benedict Whalen—teach the remainder of the course. In fact, Dr. Franklin has filmed a short trailer about Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which is a good introduction to the course. I invite you to watch it here: https://lp.hillsdale.edu/mark-twain-trailer.
Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College
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