Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, first published in America in January 1885, has always been in trouble. According to Ernest Hemingway, it was the "one book" from which "all modern American literature" came, and contemporary critics and scholars have treated it as one of the greatest American works of art. Of all MT's novels, it was also the one that sold best at its initial appearance. On the other hand, it was condemned by many reviewers in MT's time as coarse and by many commentators in our time as racist. In 1885 it was banished from the shelves of the Concord Public Library, an act that attracted a lot of publicity and discussion in the press. It is still frequently in the news, as various schools and school systems across the country either ban it from or restore it to their classrooms. The texts and illustrations below attempt to capture both the novel's achievement and some aspects of its controversiality.


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