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CBSRMT Episode Information
A Curious Experience
('Mark Twain classic')
To save himself from punishment, a young soldier enlisted in Union Army names his co-conspirators when he is accused of being a double agent.
Air Dates:
First Run - May 30, 1979
Repeat - October 19, 1979
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2 Responses to Episode 0984

MARK TWAIN SERIES: CBS Radio Mystery Theater produced a total of eleven adaptations from Mark Twain's works for the show; nine were written by Sam Dann with Ian Martin writing only two. [0119] The Real Printer's Devil [0408] Tom Sawyer, Detective [0409] Is He Living or Is He Dead? [0410] The Belated Russian Passport [0411] A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court [0412] The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg [0413] The Stolen White Elephant [0414] The Mysterious Stranger [0937] The Dead House [0984] A Curious Experience [1002] The Goddess Caper** The show always tried to kick off each new year of their Anniversary (in early January) with a weeklong series written by the same author, and so Sam Dann wrote episodes 408 through 414 to launch the start of their third season. **1002 was based on “The Legend of the Capitoline Venus”

Quote: "[Wicklow's mind has been turned ... by all those dime novels and sensation-story newspapers about all kinds of dark plots and mysteries; he's always making up all kinds of fables." From the original story: Quote: "It turned out that he was a ravenous devourer of dime novels and sensation-story papers -- therefore, dark mysteries and gaudy heroisms were just in his line." In The Mark Twain Encyclopedia (1993), John H. Davis notes that "scholars generally have dismissed" this story, and "little attention has been given to the story's central themes: the contrast of excessive and empty imagination and the illusionary nature of truth. ... Wicklow's fiction-based illusions provide a case study of a youth's escape from reality," pointing to "a recurring Twainian theme -- romanticism as a threat to social and moral health." In A Companion to Mark Twain (2005), Peter B. Messent notes that this story echoes Twain's friend William Dean Howells' "battle against ... sentimental and dime fiction." "... 'A Curious Experience' ... endorsed much the same message," "... in line with repeated attacks throughout [Twain's] work, from a realist perspective, on fraudulent sentimentality and romance."

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