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Sinclair Lewis

THE American novel

February 18 is a day to celebrate, because it was on February 18, 1885, that Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the definitive American novel. Ernest Hemingway famously said, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.' " Calling it "one of the great masterpieces of the world," H. L. Mencken said, "I believe that Mark Twain had a clearer vision of life, that he came nearer to its elementals and was less deceived by its false appearances, than any other American who has ever presumed to manufacture generalizations, not excepting Emerson. I believe that, admitting all his defects, he wrote...

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