The Devil's Race-Track: Mark Twain's "Great Dark" Writings, The Best from Which Was the Dream? and Fables of Man

Univ of California Press
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Mark Twain explores the darker side of life in these lesser-known later writings dealing with personal tragedies, nightmarish world events, and a doubtful cosmic order. He views his own situation as that of a ship trapped in a fearsome Bermuda Triangle-like region, the Devil's Race-Track. He sees history as a treadmill of endlessly and monotonously repeated events. And he conceives of a universal food chain, a vast round of devourers who in their turn become victims, humankind and God included. The tone of these writings is lightened considerably by Mark Twain's sagely ironic humor and his warmth, which together balance his tough-mindedness. And even when he shows the human race caught in some vicious circle, he may be seen courageously seeking a way out and at times believing he has found it.
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Univ of California Press
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Published on
Mar 17, 2005
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Literary Criticism / American / General
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Eligible for Family Library

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A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet

A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently, Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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