Mark Twain's Notebook

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Read Books, 2006 - History - 420 pages
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MARK TWAINS NOTEBOOKBY ALBERT BIGELOW PAINECONTENTS: FOREWORD I. THE RIVER AND THE MINES II. THE SANDWICH ISLANDS III. HONOLULU IV. HONOLULU TO SAN FRANCISCO V. A GRIM VOYAGE TO NEW YORK VI. BEGINNING A LITERARY EPOCH VII. ATHENS, CONSTANTINOPLE, EPHESUS VIII. SYRIA AND THE HOLY LAND IX. SUPPLEMENTARY HOLY LAND NOTES X. EGYPT AND HOME XI. NOTES, SAN FRANCISCO TO NEW YORK XII. A TRIP TO BERMUDA XIII. NOTES, LITERARY AND OTHERWISE XIV. NOTES FOR A NEW BOOK XV. AMERICA AGAIN XVI. MISSISSIPPI RIVER, 1882 XVII. NOTES, 1883 XVIII. THE GRANT BOOK XIX. TURBULENT YEARS XX. WRITING THE YANKEE XXI. EUROPEAN RESIDENCE XXII. THE WAY TO THE COAST XXIII. AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND XXIV. CEYLON AND INDIA XXV. LEAVING INDIA XXVI. IN SOUTH AFRICA XXVII. ENGLAND XXVIII. SUSY XXIX. LONDON DAYS XXX. ON THE CONTINENT XXXI. IN VIENNA XXXII. ENGLAND AGAIN XXXIII. BACK IN AMERICA XXXIV. ITALY AGAIN XXXV. CLOSING YEARS INDEX FOREWORD A SUPERSTITION, nursed and nourished by a number of personsmost of them too young to have known Mark Twain, too perverse to accept the simple and the obvious, is that because of restrictions laid upon him by his wife, by W, D. Howells, and later by those to whose care he trusted his manuscripts, he has not been permit ted to have his say. Now this is a good way from the truth. Mark Twain had his say as much as any author could have it, thirty, forty, fifty years ago. When restricted at all it was chiefly through his own expressed wish to observe the conven tions and convictions of that more orthodox, more timid and delicate possibly more immaculate, day. It is true, as I have elsewhere freely set down, that Howells, and especially Mrs. Clemens, usually edited his manuscripts, and it is also true that the manuscripts profited, and never, I believe, suffered through their sug gestions. His own taste was unreliableas unreliable as that of any genius: he was likely to mistake cheap banali ties for choice bits of humor. His advisers prevailed upon him to eliminate, on occasion, and knowing this, a sus picious minority, hankering for revelations, call for Mark Twain, unsuppresscd, unexpurgaied, unedited. The result of such a procedure would be rather dismal: the eliminations would disturb nobodys refined sensibilities: they would do worse: they would sadden, disenchant, and bore the reader. Some of those that got by his editors might better have been spared. Mark Twain never wrote for publication anything sa lacious or suggestive or bordering on the indecent. He never wrote anything suggestive at all. What he said was straight from the shoulder. He had been a printer, a pilot, a California miner. He had fed on strong meat, he had a robust imagination and a better command of AngloSaxon English than any other man of his time, hut when he let himself go, as he did two or three times, it was for strictly private consumption. The now famous 1601 was written for the amusement of no other person than the Reverend Joseph Twichcll, of Hartford. Twichell sent it to John Hay, who had it put in type and a few copies struck off. Other editions followed.

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