Mark Twain and the critique of philology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mark Twain's life-long interests in language and technology were strongly influenced by his engagement with the German language and the burgeoning science of philology. Drawing from many texts and resources not before studied, this article argues that Twain had a profoundly critical perspective on philology. Consistently in his works philology is presented as both as true science and as a means for imposture and fakery. Thus Twain's critique of philology both exemplifies and exposes a fundamental epistemological quandary of our relation to the past, as well as the violence that results for our desire to give ourselves a "better" history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-237
Number of pages25
JournalELH - English Literary History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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