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Norman Mailer
Celebrating the genius of 'Huckleberry Finn'
Celebrating the genius of 'Huckleberry Finn'

Mark Twain was not quite 50 when he published "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in February 1885, and in so doing, changed American literature. Until then, many of our writers had flirted with vernacular expression, most notably Thomas Paine, whose "Common Sense," was written to appeal to (and to sway) the common man. To read Paine now, however, as well as other populists such as Thoreau and Whitman, is to confront a strange dichotomy between their democratic intentions and their elevated prose. -------------------- FOR THE RECORD: A subheadline on an earlier online version of this article said the novel "Huckleberry Finn" turns 175 this year. As the article...