I have a quick question for the forum regarding Kevin's incredible discovery.? Let me set it up first:? Sam began as a cub pilot in 1857; he received his pilot's license in 1859.? The article that Kevin found is from 1861.? He adopts the moniker in 1863, which very well could have been as a result of the Vanity Fair article.? However, how does this conclusively rule out the previous assumptions/educated guesses as to the nom de plum ?? Furthermore, this leads me to at least question--most respectfully--Kevin's conclusion that the use of "Mark Twain" in the Vanity Fair article, combined with the assertion that it was a publication that Sam had read or been aware of, "provides simple, logical answers to dangling questions, is contradicted by no known facts," and that "everything fits like a glove."? Would Sam not have already been aware of the term's adaptability into a believable pen-name?? Perhaps not since he did not christen himself "Mark Twain" until 1863--two years after the Vanity Fair article.? However he was interested in writing before becoming a cub pilot, and the years during his piloting days were profoundly influential to Sam as a writer/thinker/observer--see Life on the Mississippi.? Would Sam not have been led more by his cherished days of piloting, specifically the language from those days? ? ? ?
From: Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
To: TWAIN-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Fri, Aug 16, 2013 12:37 pm
Subject: Link to article in Kansas City Star
Martin Zehr did a fine write-up about my piece for which I want to thank hi=
m in this very public forum among colleagues.
I hope those whose previous research on Mark Twain are cited in my article =
will accept those citations as my way of saying thanks to them for their in=
sights and hard work that suggested avenues of research and provided numero=
us clues that led me to my conclusions --whether or not you even agree with=
I also hope that those who are not already subscribers to the Mark Twain Jo=
urnal will remedy that grievous oversight. The MTJ deserves the support of =
Here's the link to Martin Zehr's piece in the Kansas City Star:
If the crush of fame becomes overwhelming, you will find me hiding, many da=
ys out, under a nom de plume that's Twainian, yet reflects my Irish heritag=
e-- Begum O'Bengal.
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