It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...


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The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL + + + But please be sure to season that with the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO
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Friday, September 16, 2016

For Serious Fans Of American Literature [With Tongue In Cheek]

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Excerpted from
The New York Times
12/9/84


It would be superb stuff if only the writer did not keep giving away the fact that he was a modern young American working in 1984. His anachronisms were not so much in the historical facts - those seemed accurate enough - but the point of view was too contemporary. The scenes might succeed - say it again, this young writer was talented! - but he kept betraying his literary influences.

The author of ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' had obviously been taught a lot by such major writers as Sinclair Lewis, John Dos Passos and John Steinbeck; he had certainly lifted from Faulkner and the mad tone Faulkner could achieve when writing about maniacal men feuding in deep swamps; he had also absorbed much of what Vonnegut and Heller could teach about the resilience of irony. If he had a surer feel for the picaresque than Saul Bellow in ''Augie March,'' still he felt derivative of that work. In places one could swear he had memorized ''The Catcher in the Rye,'' and he probably dipped into ''Deliverance'' and ''Why Are We in Vietnam?'' He might even have studied the mannerisms of movie stars. You could feel traces of John Wayne, Victor McLaglen and Burt Reynolds in his pages. The author had doubtless digested many a Hollywood comedy on small-town life. His instinct for life in hamlets on the Mississippi before the Civil War was as sharp as it was farcical, and couldn't be more commercial.

Norman Mailer

Mark Twain's novel was originally 
published in England in 1884.

The following year,
it was published in 
the United States.
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