When not raking paper from one desk to another as a university
administrator, I moonlight as an MA student here at Boston
University's Editorial Institute. My subject?
Studying/criticizing/annotating/editing a selection of the essays
collected in Twain's "How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays" (first
published in 1897).
I guess my first question to the group would be: does anyone know of
current research being conducted by anyone on this particular book,
or on this period in Twain's life (before and after his bankruptcy
during the 1890s)?
My second question relates to the subject heading. At some point
this spring I must defend my research to date, and my directors would
appreciate the opinion of a scholar outside of Boston University, but
preferably not outside of greater Boston (of relevant Twain
credentials, or at least Twain acumen), to positively criticize my
work with an editorial (not literary) perspective. They need not
read word for word from title page to bibliography, but rather get a
sense of the piece and provide their insight to developments.
To date we've been frustrated by the lack of Boston-based scholars
who specifically state "Twain" in their research interests. I'm told
Justin Kaplan lives in Cambridge, but without leads or introductions
his contact information cannot be obtained from the world wide web.
To be honest, I'm not exactly at the stage of desperation, but
headlines must catch the eye, and hopefully I caught yours. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.