Why, You Simple Creatures, The Weakest Of All Weak Things Is A Virtue Which Has Not Been Tested In The Fire Written On Hotel Stationary While In Europe On The Run From American Creditors, Soon After The Death Of A Daughter, The Man That Corrupted Handleyburg Is Often Cited As A Work Of Bitter Cynicism A Statement On America, To Some, On The Dreyfus Case, To Others Created By A Weary Author At The End Of His Career Another Appreciation, However, Is That It Is, Simply, Mark Twain At His Best The Story Of A Mysterious Stranger Who Orchestrates A Fraud Embarrassing The Hypocritical Citizens Of Incorruptible Hadleyburg The Novella Is An Exceptionally Crafted Work Intertwining A Devious And Suspenseful Plot With Some Of The Wittiest Dialogue Twain Ever Wrote And Like The Most Masterful Literature, It Subverts Any Notion Of Easy Conclusion Is Hadleyburg Ruined, Or Liberated Is The Mysterious Stranger Satan, Or A Hero Is This A Book Of Revenge, Or Redemption One Thing Is Clear This Brilliant Novella Is A Complex And Compassionate Consideration Of The Human Character By A Master At The Height Of His FormThe Art Of The Novella SeriesToo Short To Be A Novel, Too Long To Be A Short Story, The Novella Is Generally Unrecognized By Academics And Publishers Nonetheless, It Is A Form Beloved And Practiced By Literature S Greatest Writers In The Art Of The Novella Series, Melville House Celebrates This Renegade Art Form And Its Practitioners With Titles That Are, In Many Instances, Presented In Book Form For The First Time Go, and reform or mark my words some day, for your sins you will die and go to hell or Hadleyburg TRY AND MAKE IT THE FORMERFor the love of God, Montresor Sorry, wrong revenge story OR IS IT A stranger passing through the honest and incorruptible town of Hadleyburg falls victim to some offense, and instead of walling up every one of the town s inhabitants inside a crypt with all the amontillado, he sets out to destroy them by elaborate means Because nobody fucks with Montresor NOBODY, AHAHA.
Ok, so it s probably not the same character from Poe s story, but there s no reason that it couldn t be, is there Yeah, that s what I thought.
Bonus points for including the line he could hear his microbes gnaw, the place was so still.
Also This might be my first Mark Twain story Might be I may have read Tom Sawyer way way back in elementary school probably abridged and illustrated , but I hardly think that counts, because I might just be thinking of the movie Tom and Huck Whatever happened to Jonathan Taylor Thomas A short, intriguing tale about the hypocrites among us The premise was interesting, but the execution seemed a bit artificial 3.
I consider a story good when I have a strong physical reaction to it, and The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg tied my stomach up in knots Mark Twain nailed human greed He nailed it, and he hit upon some sort of larger unconscious truth that I can reach at but cannot grasp.
Hadleyburg is a town noted for its incorruptible honesty and its exceeding morality Twain informs us that the town of Hadleyburg once offended a traveler passing through but neglects to indulge any further detail We only know that this person seeks revenge and seeks it greatly, and decides to strike at the the thing most dear to Hadleyburg its moral image Through an ingenious prank involving a sack of gold coins and a reformed gambler, the stranger manages to expose the nineteen elite head families of Hadleyburg as the greedy liars they are.
One need look no further than your current newspaper to see how relevant this story remains hypocrite moralists involved in sex scandals, Enrons, and what have you, etc etc.
The genius of the story is that Twain works to implicate you and me, the readers, as hypocritical lying scoundrels as well.
Jolly good, then, Twain I see things haven t changed very much.
I am hoping to eternally and everlastingly squelch your vanity See why studying literature is so great You get to read a number of beautiful, beautiful things, things that probably you would have anyway read by yourself or that you have wanted to read for ages And that counts as studying Like, you don t even have to feel guilty.
As to The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, I particularly liked it It provided a lot of potential starting points for an essay I should already be writing have to write and much inspiration Plus, it is fun, and it leaves room for the reader s mind to speculate and try to fill the gaps this short story is so dense with symbolism you ll have no lack of opportunities to let your imagination run wild, I promise.
Loaded with humor and acidity, Mark Twain s novel The Man Who Corrupt Hadleyburg consists of a social experiment on hypocrisy As a vehement critic of the customs of American society of its time, it has the property of remaining current and universal as the good classics of literature.