TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
"Roger W. Durrett" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 21 May 1997 13:22:16 -0400
text/plain (57 lines)
Concerning this posting to Kurt and theoretically the Twain Forum,...

I have been an enthusiastic reader of the Forum but not much of a
participant.  Wanted to observe before putting my $.02 in.  Gosh
does it ever help to get the e-mail address _absolutely_ correct.
Been receiving error messages,...finally got it figured out, I think.
What a difference a "dash" makes!

Apologies to all.  Thanks Kurt.

Roger Durrett

I read your posting this morning.  A quick check of a couple of
sources provide 1) _some_ information and 2) a laugh.

     "Now I come to an important matter -- as I regard it.  In the year '74
the young woman copied a considerable part of a book of mine _on the
machine_.  In a previous chapter of this Autobiography I have claimed
that I was the first person in the world that ever had a telephone in his
house for practical purposes;  I will now claim -- until dispossessed --
that I was the first person in the world to _apply the machine to
That book must have been _The Adventures of Tom Sawyer_.  I wrote the
first half of it in ''72, the rest of it in ''74.  My machinist type-copied
for me in ''74, so I concluded it was that one."  --
                                                from "The First Writing
                                                 _Essays & Sketches of MT_,
                                                   Barnes & Noble, 1995, p.

The laugh comes from Twain's request to the Remington Rand Typewriter
Co., asking that they not use his name in any way because every time he
sent someone a typewritten letter they wanted to know all about it. (That,
of course, forced him to write another letter, which for a man "born lazy"
must have become a chore.)
                                              (See Harnsberger, _Everyone's
MT_, p. 630)

I doubt that the first manuscript submitted typewritten was_ Life on The
Mississippi_, since it wasn't published until 1883.  Would Twain's memory
have been that far off?  Perhaps it could have been the first installments
that appeared in _The Atlantic_ in January of 1875 under the title "Old
on the Mississippi."   In the eight years it took Twain to complete the
some of it may have been typed.  Anyone have any thoughts or information?

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Roger Durrett