Huckleberry Hostel Commission: Day 42 (Hanging out with Emmeline)

First draft of both one-acts: done! Are they great? Nope. Are they crap? Quite possibly. Are they written? You bet your Grangerford they are.

Last night and today were all about hanging out with Emmeline Grangerford in the multipurpose room. Only now am I looking around online and realizing that she is far better known than I realized. One person posted that she’s “literature’s first emo kid” and a University of Virginia student created a whole website dedicated to her which subtly makes the argument that Emily the Strange is the reincarnation of Mark Twain’s character (more research on this must be done!). I now know that she is apparently based on a real poet who Mark Twain “enjoyed”: “Julia A. Moore, who was known as ‘The Sweet Singer of Michigan,’ is perhaps the most famous bad poet in the history of American literature. As her poems frequently deal with death, she is often described as a ‘mortuary poet,’ a name sometimes given to mediocre writers who dwell on the uncertainty of life in the nineteenth century. Moore was a favourite of Mark Twain, who was inspired by her to create the character of Emmeline Grangerford in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

More scholarly sources compare Emmeline to some of mythology’s most dangerous vixens:

A siren is a most unlikely feature of the Mississippi, but an untiring search for the Homeric in Twain reveals the siren in Emmeline Grangerford. She is a poetess, a singer of songs, odes to be specific, and Huck is as enchanted as any Greek sailor would have been by the song of the Sirens. He expresses his admiration, but it is restrained by the literary taste of Twain. Huck says of Miss Grangerford’s “Ode toStephen Dowling Bots, Dec’d” that “If Emmeline Grangerford could make poetry like that before she was fourteen, there ain’t no tellingwhat she could ‘a’ done by and by.” —Jack Solomon

Clearly I need to do some more digging about this character’s history!


3 thoughts on “Huckleberry Hostel Commission: Day 42 (Hanging out with Emmeline)

  1. Hey Dan. It’s Antonio from the cast here. I stumbled on this when I googled the show looking for an article that was out. HOW COOL IS IT TO HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR PLAYWRIGHT’S PROCESS DURING A SHOW?!

    Since you’re the playwright, I’ll tell you. This cool:

    [ ]

    1. Dude! I thought you all knew about this blog! Sheeooot! Maybe the director was keeping it a secret from you . . . he’s wily like that.

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