By Professor Jeffrey Alan Melton
With the e-book of The Innocents overseas (1869), Mark Twain launched into a protracted and winning occupation because the nineteenth century's best-selling commute author. Jeffrey Melton treats Twain's shuttle narratives extensive, and within the context of his modern shuttle writers and a burgeoning tourism tradition. As Melton indicates, Twain's 5 significant trip narratives--The Innocents in a foreign country, Roughing It, lifestyles at the Mississippi, A Tramp in a foreign country, and Following the Equator--demonstrate Twain's mastery and reinvention of the genre.
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Additional resources for Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism: The Tide of a Great Popular Movement (American Literary Realism and Naturalism)
Having established a rapport with us, the travel writer, no matter the speci¤c contexts of the narrative, must adhere to basic and overriding conventions that serve to de¤ne the genre. As the foregoing examples have implied, the travel book has three central requirements: to instruct, to entertain, and to comfort. The ¤rst two are the ostensible goals, but the more tacit need of readers for comfort as they travel the world is nonetheless vital to the popularity of the genre. Instructing Readers As we have seen brie®y in the prefaces, writers knew well that, above all else, readers expected a travel book to educate.
Upon such a courteous gesture, we, Jarves would hope, cannot help but turn the page and thus begin our tour in the company of our newfound friend. Browne, likewise, offers another masterful greeting that, while sharing goodwill, also places readers on equal footing, thus reemphasizing the implied partnership of travel writing. 20 A foggy remembrance comes over me that it was over the barren fjelds of Norway, and through the treacherous bogs of Iceland. Assuming that we parted on friendly terms, and that we still entertain a kindly recollection of each other, I have now to offer a new programme of exploration and adventure, very different indeed from our last, but possessing the peculiar charms in the absence of accommodation for travellers, and extraordinary advantages in the way of burning deserts, dried rivers, rattlesnakes, scorpions, Greasers, and Apaches; besides unlimited fascinations in the line of robbery, starvation, and the chances of sudden death by accident.
12 Lacking national and international respect, potential authors were separated from the public by a barrier that was dif¤cult to de¤ne but often discouraging. This uncertainty, combined with inadequate copyright laws, greatly hampered the grooming of American literary talent. Publishers, in short, more often chose to publish well-established literary giants of Britain, who represented sure bets in regard to sales and, moreover, could not claim royalties. Few observers believed an American writer could support him- or herself consistently in such a competitive and adverse publishing market.