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"Martin D. Zehr" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:27:26 -0800
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The news that there is a psychoanalytic interpretation of Sam Clemens's adoption and use of a pseudonym is hardly surprising, to say the least.  Like alchemy, another discipline which conveniently ignores pesky facts, the reconstruction/deconstruction of history to fit sometimes attractive, if not entertaining theories, is a mainstay of psychoanalysis, and interpretation of Clemens's use of "Mark Twain" as a form of reparation may well be another example.  Instead of noting the obvious, or simplest explanation, psychoanalysis often deposits layers of intellectual effluvium in service of tenuous theories, and I suspect this latest development may constitute yet another example.  Consider the following:
Artemus Ward - Charles Farrar Browne
Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby - David Ross Locke
Orpheus C. Kerr ("Office Seeker") - John Newell
Josh Billings - Henry Wheeler Shaw
Dan DeQuille - William Wright
Mark Twain - Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Notice a pattern here?  
As Freud himself observed, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
Martin Zehr
Kansas City

--- On Mon, 11/22/10, John Davis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: John Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: new article on psychology of Clemens' pseudonym
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, November 22, 2010, 7:55 AM

Please send me one as well ([log in to unmask]).  Thanks.

On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM, Richard Waugaman, M.D. <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>        I just published an article in the Psychoanalytic Review, titled =
> =20
> =93Samuel Clemens and Mark Twain: Pseudonym as Act of Reparation.=94 If
> =20=
> anyone would like a pdf of it, send me an email. (The publisher asks =20
> that the article not be posted on any website.)
> Richard M. Waugaman, M.D.
> Training & Supervising Analyst Emeritus,
> Washington Psychoanalytic Institute
> Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
> Georgetown University School of Medicine
> Reader, Folger Shakespeare Library
> email: [log in to unmask]
> 301-654-9771
> 301-656-3437 Fax

John H. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Department of Language and Literature
Chowan University
Murfreesboro, North Carolina 27855