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Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1, Reader's Edition (Mark Twain Papers) Paperback – March 26, 2012
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"Smith and her companion editors have accomplished a herculean task. . . . A more accurately arranged collection than any earlier edition."--"American Literary Realism"
"Mission accomplished, Mr. Clemens."--Roger Boylan"Boston Review" (11/01/2010)
"The bestseller chart is awash with memoirs -- but none offer the extreme reading of the Autobiography of Mark Twain."--Debra Craine"The Times" (10/18/2010)
"Twian's 'Final Plan' has been released in a truly spectacular first volume of his posthumous 'Autobiography'."--Vitali Vitaliev"Engineering & Technology" (02/01/2011)
Mission accomplished, Mr. Clemens. --Roger Boylan"Boston Review" (11/01/2010)"
The bestseller chart is awash with memoirs -- but none offer the extreme reading of the Autobiography of Mark Twain. --Debra Craine"The Times" (10/18/2010)"
Twian s Final Plan has been released in a truly spectacular first volume of his posthumous Autobiography . --Vitali Vitaliev"Engineering & Technology" (02/01/2011)"
From the Inside Flap
"To say that the editors have done an extremely good job is a little like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel does a good job of keeping the rain off the Pope's head. It is true but it doesn't give even a whiff of the grandeur of the thing."Robert D. Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire
"Mark Twain, always so blithely ahead of his time, has just outdone himself: he's brought us an Autobiography from beyond the grave: a hundred-year-old relic that yet manages to accomplish something new. It anticipates the Cubism just taking form in Samuel Clemens's last years, by exploding the confines of orderliness, sequence, the dutiful march of this-then-that. In so doing, it gives us not simply Mark Twain's lifethat is the prosaic work of biographersbut the ways in which he thought of his life: in all the fragmented recollection, distraction, creation, revision and dreaming that make up the true, divinely jumbled devices we all use to recapture experience and feeling. If this prodigious and prodigal pastiche were a machine, it would be the Paige typesetterexcept that it works."Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Life
Top Customer Reviews
The major difference between these two editions is the elimination of most of the scholarly material -- for instance, the 200+ page introduction has been condensed to 20 pages and the index is gone. What is left for this 2012 paperback edition is the actual autobiographical material that Mark Twain created. The other change has been the increase in font size as the hardback readers complained that the print was too small. The reader can decide how much academic background they desire for the autobiography, which is still a rambling discourse on his life without any chronological sequence.
Publisher: University of California Press
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was born in Florida Missouri on the 30th of November, 1835, which he describes in his autobiography as "an almost invisible village." He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri which would provide him for the settings for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.
For over thirty-five years between 1870 and 1905 this brilliant American author and humorist had repeatedly endeavored to write his autobiography, however, as we learn from Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, nothing much came of these attempts.
It was in 1906 when he really began in earnest to write his autobiography with his daily dictations to his stenographer, Josephine S. Hobby, and he decided that these "Autobiographical Dictations" would form the bulk of what he would call Autobiography of Mark Twain. He believed that he had found the right way to dictate an autobiography and as he states: "to start it at no particular time of your life; wander at your free will all over your life; talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale, and turn your talk upon the new and more interesting thing that has intruded itself into your mind meantime." Twain believed that biographies are "but the clothes and buttons of man-the biography of the man himself cannot be written." There was to be, however, one important stipulation and that was that the autobiography was not to be published in its entirety until a lapse of one hundred years after his death. Twain died on the twenty-first of April, 1910 and he completed his last chapter of his autobiography in December of 1909.Read more ›
The same can be said for this "Reader's Edition", although the extra pages are reduced to about 20 pages of his "false starts" when he first decided to write his personal story. I actually found his "false starts" to be more entertaining than the heart of his "approved" autobiography, because in those his bio was more traditional; he spoke of his childhood and of those around him who influenced many of the characters in his novels. His actual bio begins in his villa in Tuscany, where he and his family retired for a year or so while his wife was ill, but there is little to his life story to be found here, other than his prejudices against the "Countess" who rented this villa to him and how much he hated her.
I am more than 1/3 through the book, now, and am enjoying it as I thought I would, but really, Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really a great read if you are a Mark Twain fan. Gives a great insight into the genius of Samuel Clemens.Published 5 months ago by Dean A. derek
★★★★★ from Marty Whitney on September 9, 2015
I have enjoyed reading the book
While I thought SC's autobiographical writing style was a little different, I... Read more
Twain at his best! Remarkable insight into him as a family man devoted to his wife and children as well as a writer. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Brenda B.
I love the way Mark Twain thinks and how he told his story is even greater in my mind than if he suffered through organizing his life and losing the power of his voice. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kelly A Thiel
I intended the review for the hard back edition.
This is for academics who want to write theses. This is a thesis. It's not readable. It's a mess. Read more