Wednesday, September 18th in the Barn at Quarry Farm 8 p.m.
Join with us as we highlight the publication of the second edition of Dr. Herbert A. Wisbey’s and Mr. Robert Jerome’s Mark Twain in Elmira. First appearing in 1977, their book is now available in a just-published, expanded and revised edition. Weather permitting, an informal reception with light refreshments will be held on the front porch and lawn of the Farmhouse starting at 7:15 p.m. (rain location in the Barn). A presentation acknowledging the publication of the book and its contents will occur at 8 p.m.
Copies of Mark Twain in Elmira (Second Edition) will be available for purchase at half price to those in attendance at this lecture. Proceeds from book sales will benefit the programming, publications, and preservation efforts of the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies.
Wednesday, September 25th in the Barn at Quarry Farm 8 p.m.
Although Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is often read and marketed as a picaresque tale of friendship and adventure, it is far less sunny. From the moment when Huck declares that he “don’t take no stock in dead people” to the sudden return of Pap’s dead body at the end of the novel, Huck Finn traffics in gothic tropes and spiritual anxieties. Mark Twain’s most celebrated novel is haunted by an American past that the Civil War failed to exorcise, and by the specter of an American future that seems equally terrifying. In their journey down the Mississippi, Huck and Jim share their fears and occasionally inhabit each other’s nightmares as they negotiate the perils of a gothic American reality. In her presentation, Dr. Ann M. Ryan will examine -- in some cases exhume -- the ghosts, spirits, and nameless dead bodies that float their way through Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in order to contextualize not only Mark Twain’s guilty conscience, but that of the country that haunts him.
Ann Ryan is Professor of English at Le Moyne College where she chairs the English Department. She is coeditor of A Due Voci: The Photography of Rita Hammond and coeditor of Cosmopolitan Twain. She has served as the Editor of the Mark Twain Annual and has participated in many institutes and symposiums at the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies.
Doors open at 7:30.
Wednesday, October 2nd in the Barn at Quarry Farm 8 p.m.
Steve Courtney, author of “The Loveliest Home That Ever Was”: The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, will share glimpses of the Clemens’ family life in Hartford -- how young Clara Clemens once screamed so loud and persistently after a pet calf had been been sold that her parents had to buy it back; how Twain had news bulletins piped up to his third-floor billiard room/study; how daughter Susy wowed the family with her grasp of ancient history. Mr. Courtney will also relay the circumstances surrounding the family’s abandonment of their beloved home, along with the house’s amazing rescue from destruction and rebirth as a world-class house museum. The talk will include a visual guided tour through the house’s rooms and hallways, pointing out the exquisite details of the home, photographed by famed local photgrapher John Groo, along with rare archival images from the museum’s collection. Copies of “The Loveliest Home That Ever Was” will be available for purchase and signing.
Steve Courtney, until recently Publicist and Publications Editor for The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, now works on special projects for the museum. In the past decade, Courtney has written and spoken on Samuel Clemens’ friend Joseph Hopkins Twichell and his role in literary and social history.
Enjoy light refreshments before this concluding lecture of the Fall Season. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.
Directions to Quarry Farm for local attendees:
From Elmira College, head east on Washington Avenue across the Clemens Center Parkway to Sullivan Street. Turn right on Sullivan. Turn left on East Avenue. Turn left on Crane Road. Quarry Farm will be on your left. Please park on the grassy area behind the Barn. For GPS: 131 Crane Road Elmira, NY 14901
Saturday, November 30th in Hamilton Hall on the Elmira College Campus 7 p.m.
[NOTE TIME AND LOCATION OF THIS LECTURE.]
This presentation is based on Tom Reigstad’s recent book, Scribblin’ for a Livin’, an engaging portrait of the famous author at a formative and important juncture of his life. Reigstad will detail the domestic, social, and professional experiences of Mark Twain while he lived in Buffalo. Derived from years of researching historical archives, combing through microfilm, and even interviewing descendants of Buffalonians who knew Twain, Reigstad has uncovered a wealth of fascinating information. The presentation will offer a vivid picture of Twain’s work environment at the Buffalo Morning Express. Colorful anecdotes about his colleagues and his quirky work habits, along with original Twain stories and illustrations not previously reprinted, should give a new understanding of Twain’s commitment to full-time newspaper work. The talk also illuminates Twain’s previously unrecognized rich social life in Buffalo. Dr. Reigstad’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
Tom Reigstad is a native of Buffalo. He earned a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Composition & Rhetoric from the University of Buffalo and has been a features writer and copy editor at the Buffalo Courier-Express, Niagara Gazette and Business First.
Enjoy birthday cake and punch following this lecture.