I certainly can relate to your experiences.? I had a mentor here at SDSU, a children's lit specialist who has written?quite a bit on Twain?from the children's lit perspective, and he is the one who encouraged my pursuit of twins.??I had written a paper on Pudd'nhead Wilson about that idea for his Mark Twain Seminar?and it was the seminal piece for my thesis which I also presented at a Mark Twain Conference in Elmira.? I looked at twins in multiple ways, gender, religion, class, race, and Tom and Huck as the prototypes.? I had wanted also to earn my PhD and perhaps expand my thesis into a full-fledged book, but as a mom of three and all my other responsibilities with husband and extended family, I just never got to it.?
I haven't been to the Mark Twain Papers, but I've been to many other Twain sites.? I really love to go to Elmira; Quarry Farm is fantastic.? I haven't been to the conference for about 8 years.? I really can appreciate and understand about writing that book; I have difficulty just writing reviews and essays with my schedule.?
Take care and talk to you soon.
From: Arianne <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 10:30 pm
Subject: Re: New directions
Carolyn, your message interests me in many ways. I, too, wrote my Master's
Thesis on Mark Twain and the twin issue figured in. I slightly regret myuse of "nemesis" in the title, but it was "Mark Twain's Nemesis: His
brother, Henry." I saw in Twain's twin motif a reflection of his feeling
for his brother.
The only teaching I've done was while I was working on my MA and at a
Teacher's College in
Cameroons with the Peace Corps. When I
came back to the US, I intended to get my PhD at UC Berkeley, home of the
Mark Twain Papers
because I figured I already had a start on my dissertation. I assumed I
would eventually teach. I was diverted at Christmas time when my mother had
a stroke. I'd already peeked into the first scrapbook hoping I'd find
\articles on the explosion on the Pennsylvania and was thrilled to find
plenty there. Much later, I realized the fellow who helped me was Fred
Anderson, later to become the Editor at the MTP.
I think it was he, when I left, who remarked that you didn't need a PhD to
write a book. I had
my teaching certificate for California and assumed I'd teach, but as it
happens, I was diverted into other directions .
I also haven't written that book. Sigh.
However over a decade later, I went to the Mark Twain Papers, hoping to
look further into my
interest in Twain and his brother. What happened was that I noticed some
other clippings in a scrapbook which I thought were written by Twain using a
pseudonym I didn't recognize. Fred Anderson checked with two scholars who
were experts in that part of his life and they said, he reported, to let me
go for it. Fred gave me my only experience of having a mentor. He died
during one of my absences from Berkeley and I still wish I could see
whatever obituaries were written about him.
Ooops. I remarked earlier to someone else that I'm in my anecdotage. So
I'll stop here, but
might pick up my story later.
Look forward in reading more of your and
others' comments on your interests.