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Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 29 Nov 2000 13:41:53 -0600
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There is one brief moment of a conversation among Gorky and Twain that is
told in _Footloose in Arcadia: A Personal Record of Jack London, George
Sterling, and Ambrose Bierce_ by Joseph Noel, (Carrick & Evans, 1940), pp.
167-175. Noel writes of London:


When I returned to California after the earthquake and fire in 1906, he
learned that I had met Maxim Gorky in New York, and called on me to find
out what I thought of the Russian voice of the disinherited. Almost at the
outset he asked if Gorky had mentioned him. Since the Russian writer had, I
didn't hesitate to tell him so. He was as pleased as a boy who had just
made the seventh grade.

While Gorky thought extremely well of Jack, H. G. Wells, the English
novelist, didn't show much enthusiasm. Mark Twain, at this same gathering,
said: "It would serve this man London right to have the working class get
control of things. He would have to call out the militia to collect his

When the interview with Gorky was published in the San Francisco News
Letter, my only reference to Mr. Wells and Mark Twain was to mention their
presence at the reception, for I had intended to write another article
dealing with them. The editor saw fit to cut out all that Gorky said of
Jack London. I never was able to learn why. Personally I thought it good as
news, even if it failed somewhat as literary criticism.


The entire interview with Gorky including the deleted portion regarding
London is reprinted in this same chapter.