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Vern Crisler <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 26 May 1998 21:52:03 -0700
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At 01:24 PM 5/26/98 -0500, Laura Skandera-Trombley wrote:
>I was greatly displeased to read the Mark Twain list serve's list of =
>recommended biographies to find only the ones listed below.=20
>Kaplan, Justin.  _Mr. Clemens and MT_.  1966.
>     _MT's Autobiography_.  Ed. Albert Bigelow Paine.  New York: Harper
>          and Brothers, 1924.
>     Paine, Albert Bigelow.  _MT: A Biography_.  Issued in 2-, 3-, and
>          4-volume sets.  New York: Harper and Brothers, 1912.

I'd like to register my agreement with Laura's sentiments, though she might
have different reasons for them from my own.

I read Kaplan's book on an Amtrak train from Texas to Arizona a few years
ago.  Back then I was interested in anything I could find out about
Twain--not having previously acquainted myself with his (real) life.  But I
remember wanting to do some damage to Kaplan's person due to his tiresome
psychologizing of Twain, making him out to be a virtual Jeckyll and Hyde.

Kaplan's book is a goldmine of information, but I would be interested in
knowing about any other autobiographies of Twain that are just as rich (or
richer) in historical detail, but without all the over-interpretation.

Is it too much to ask? :-)