Folks; I'm still working through the implications of all this about AHF,
but can now throw in a few cents -- sitting here in LA and waiting for the
book exhibit to open (it was NOT open yesterday, for some unexplained
I begin with an anecdote about Ted Williams -- who, when he passed, was
considered the "greatest living ballplayer." Immediately the debate ensued,
about who was his logical replacement. Was it Warren Spahn? Willie Mays?
Henry Aaron??? or (gasp!) a pitcher -- Bob Gibson? Bob Feller (who just
died a few months ago)??
Anyway, yes-- I do have a point. It seems strange, even uncanny, that this
debate is timed just after the passing of Lou Budd, our own "best
ballplayer," by many accounts. Because in my view, there are just a few
other special scholars whose name I would utter as a potential new "dean" of
One of them is Alan Gribben. I admit I was very surprised to hear that he
was behind this new project. But for now, and with all my reservations
about what this brouhaha entails -- I'd like to give Alan a little leeway
here, and I also think I'd like to speak on his behalf as one of the kindest
and most knowledgeable Twain scholars. There have been a few (vague)
comments on here directed at Alan that approached the line between fair and
mean, and that is very unfortunate.
I do have reservations about this new, edited (bowdlerized?) text -- but
Alan's credentials are impeccable and his character is well known to all of
us. I guess I'd mostly like to corner him and hear his explanation, because
I'm sure he has one.
Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Professor of English
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)