One of the lesser-known bodies in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the dead white man in “Jim's Ghost Story,” an excised section of the novel. Twain inverts the paradigm that conceives of black bodies as fodder for white gothic narratives. Instead, in “Jim's Ghost Story,” the fears of an enslaved black man imagine and construct what's monstrous. Jim's anger represents the deeper rage of the black community at the end of the nineteenth century. While Twain sympathizes with the cultural exorcism this narrative promises—where white monsters are punished for crimes against black bodies—he will nonetheless cut it from the text. Later in his career, Twain describes Pudd'nhead Wilson as being the product of a “literary Caesarian operation,” bringing to light some new fictional hybrid; in the case of “Jim's Ghost Story,” he performs a literary autopsy instead, killing a text that will never see the light of day.

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