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Thomas Carlton Blake <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:05:42 -0800
text/plain (57 lines)
That's good to hear.  Of course I would have probably bought the book
without regard to the reviews, but your comments are encouraging.

Oh, and sorry about the non sequitur in my post ... I left a sentence out,
but I realize that everybody is familiar with the "popular" aspect of
biography so no harm done.


> From: ryr <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 20:17:12 -0500
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Hitch
> I haven't finished The Singular Mark Twain yet, but the book and its Twain
> certainly breathe fire... would that THIS Twain were around today!
> Hitchens' facts re what is argued in the book are simply wrong.  Maybe
> pressure to print his review weeks before publication of the book didn't
> give him time to read it or to disguise his personal crusade or his hope to
> score attention as the Amis review flap did.  He was wistful in a Q&A in
> NYMagazine that his anti-Kaplan attempt wasn't getting that kind of
> attention.  Reading  reviews, one must  consider the source... . Fortunately
> most readers recognize ulterior motives, made the more apparent by
> indiscriminate and overthetop fury.   Meanwhile I found Carl Rollyson's
> review (tho sofar I haven't been able to download it)-- he's someone who
> knows what writing biography entails -- interesting in its ideas.
> L. Ackerson
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Carlton Blake" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 4:36 PM
>> In _The Perfect Wagnerite_, Bernard Shaw made fun of the biographies of
>> Richard Wagner (prior to that of Ashton Ellis) for their shutting out of
>> facts about Wagner's participation in the 1848 revolutions.  The idea
> seems
>> to have been that people don't want their heroes to be, or to associate
>> with, "revolutionary" figures, and will reject factual biographical
>> statements if those don't conform to the readers' preconceptions.
>> My vote doesn't count, but I agree with Hitchens that a Clemens biography
>> should breathe some fire!
>> tcb
>>> Christopher Hitchens offered quite a different
>>> appraisal of the book in the November 2003 ATLANTIC