Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative by Mark Twain

By Mark Twain

"I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a pal. "And i'll provide it away—to you. you'll by no means know the way a lot amusement you've misplaced until eventually you get to dictating your autobiography." hence, after dozens of fake starts off and 1000s of pages, Twain launched into his "Final (and correct) Plan" for telling the tale of his existence. His leading edge notion—to "talk simply concerning the factor which pursuits you for the moment"—meant that his innovations may well variety freely. the stern guideline that lots of those texts stay unpublished for a hundred years intended that after they got here out, he will be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was once for that reason loose to talk his "whole frank mind." The yr 2010 marks the a hundredth anniversary of Twain's loss of life. In occasion of this crucial milestone and in honor of the adored culture of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to supply for the 1st time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and precisely as he left it. This significant literary occasion brings to readers, admirers, and students the 1st of 3 volumes and offers Mark Twain's real and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, principles, and evaluations, and conversing sincerely from the grave as he intended.


Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon okay. Goetz, Leslie Myrick

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Extra info for Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Vol. 1

Example text

But we have had to stop for he has been ill, Mrs. 50 Lyon did not know shorthand and so took down Clemens’s words in full, then gave Jean her record to be typed. Shortly after he had begun to dictate, Clemens wrote to Howells on 16 January: I’ve struck it! And I will give it away—to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography; then you will realize, with a pang, that you might have been doing it all your life if you had only had the luck to think of it.

Both TS2 and TS4 originally began with the “Random Extracts” text, but both omit the “Early Attempt” preface written for it. TS4 includes the other threepart preface and four of the Florentine Dictations (“John Hay,” “Notes on ‘Innocents Abroad,’” “Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Bailey Aldrich,” and “Villa di Quarto”), and TS2 originally did so as well. But only parts of TS2 for these early texts survive: gaps in it (shown by missing page numbers) cannot always be certainly reconstructed, but all surviving evidence shows that the missing pages were identical in content to those of TS4, which is the only complete record of these initial elements in Clemens’s plan.

S. S. McClure, founder of McClure’s Syndicate and McClure’s Magazine , who offered to pay Clemens a dollar per word for the right to syndicate fifty thousand words from the autobiography. As Clemens reviewed Hobby’s typescripts and some of his pre-1906 texts, he began noting likely candidates for McClure’s proposed syndication. For instance, the blue-penciled notation “Mc” is written at the top of the first page of the 1904 “Villa di Quarto” typescript, and the same or a similar notation can be seen on several other pages of TS1 prepared between January and March 1906.

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