Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mark Twain Ripped Off Homer

Huh.

You see, it had always struck me that Huckleberry Finn had all the earmarks of being deeply based upon the basic framework of the Odyssey,

...I had the chance to visit the Twain papers at the Huntington Library, and discovered that Twain had written an unpublished, mock review of a new German translation of Homer's Odyssey, which he purported to attribute to a new German author named "Herr Homer" (one of its best lines: Twain objects to its setting in Troy and Ithaca, finding it unlikely that a Greek hero would spend so much time in upstate New York). This review was written just as Twain was finishing Huckleberry Finn, and was for me the "smoking gun" that Twain was indeed thinking of the Odyssey as he wrote his classic, and served as the key evidence in my broader claim that there is both plot and philosophic kinship between the two works.

There you have it, right from a Ph.D. who teaches at G'town!

1 comment:

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