Mark Twain, Travel Writing, and Comic Performance
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Interessantes von LAP Lambert Academic Publishing
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The key to understanding Twain''s travel writing is in the introduction of his first book, The Innocents Abroad. Here Twain promises to strip foreign lands of romantic illusion, by describing people and places exactly as they are--even if that means exposing the glories of Europe and the mysteries of the Holy Land as one big tourist trap. This study argues that, in order to accomplish this goal, Twain uses his skills as a master orator to not merely relate his travels, but to perform them in a comic frame. As one laughs at Twain''s antics, one begins to see foreign lands as both an actor in Twain''s drama, and as an observer of that drama. Mark Twain was a master story teller, and his descriptions of foreign lands, cultures, and people are able to argue for new perspectives. Despite the power of these arguments, Twain''s books remain enjoyable means to escape from the world over here and experience Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Africa from the comfort of one''s own armchair.