Puns, Politics, and Pork Chops: The ‘insignificant magnitude’ of T-Bone Slim

Clayton, Owen (2019) Puns, Politics, and Pork Chops: The ‘insignificant magnitude’ of T-Bone Slim. The Journal of Working-Class Studies, 4 (1). ISSN 2475-4765

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Puns, Politics, and Pork Chops: The ‘insignificant magnitude’ of T-Bone Slim
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Abstract

Hobos have been idealised for their supposed freedom from social restraints. A notable exception to this romantic tendency was the work of the Finnish-American anarchist newspaper columnist, songwriter and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), T-Bone Slim (Matt Valentine Huhta). T Bone Slim’s writings were radical interventions in debates around class, labour and exploitation in 1920s and 1930s America. His work was deeply satirical, with a scathing wit reminiscent of Mark Twain. Focussing on his representation of food, fame, and the body, this article argues that Slim’s work represents a challenge to the idealistic portrayal of the hobo that appears in many contemporary autobiographies and in later academic scholarship.

Keywords:T-Bone Slim, Matti Valentinepoika Huhta, Hobo, Tramp, Industrial Workers of the World, Homelessness, Working class literature, Hunger, Food & drink, Fame, The body, Labour (work), Satire
Subjects:T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T720 American Literature studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:35742
Deposited On:03 May 2019 07:56

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