As Judge Judy frequently says, if you tell one falsehood, the rest of your
testimony can be discounted. The book you suggest is one that's been
controversial long enough to discount it as "definitive." It might be one
to refer to for some information, but it shouldn't be first on the list of
books reccommended for readers who might not know some of the material is
speculative, not biography. That's precisely the situation with many other
biographies which have one thesis or another that these books are built
around. Twain's life, like his works, has always been presented through the
eyes of the beholder. So I second the suggestion regarding the
introductions and notes to the UCal editions--just the facts.
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2001 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: A good start at a definitive Mark Twain biography - Mark Twain
Wonder why all the suggested recommendations for Twain bios neglected the
inclusion of Hoffman's Inventing Mark Twain: The Lives of Samuel L. Clemens?
Amazing how the controversy of one page seems to negate the other 504.
I realise my defense of Hoffman's bio might make me a social pariah to other
members, but in all fairness both to Twain and Mr. Hoffman, his book
certainly should be included in a list of scholarly biographies.
Richard R. Salassi
"A Visit with Mark Twain"