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"Effgen, A. B." <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 23 Dec 2011 16:56:07 +0000
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Thanks, Gregg. Do we know what Warner's opinion was, and how it changed throughout their close proximity?

Happy Holidays everyone!

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gregg Camfield
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Gilded Age

Later in life, Twain suggested that _The Gilded Age_ is really two books that inadvertently occupy the same binding, but at the time of publication he said that he and Warner collaborated substantially.  I think we should pay at least as much attention to Twain's assertion that the book is a full collaboration as to his later disavowal.  When the two were writing the book, they agreed about the book's purposes and arguments, and while they may have drawn on their own experiences to create particular characters and each began one of the two main plots, over the course of composition, the boundaries blurred, and they asked for advice from their wives, too.

It didn't take long after the publication of _GA_ for Twain to outgrown Warner as a mentor; it also didn't take him long to push Warner out of any share of the profits from the Colonel Sellers play.  Twain, then,had good reasons to downplay the significance and extent of the collaboration.  But if we are to see how Twain grew, it is useful to see how much he agreed
with Warner in the early 1870s.   In other words, it's not useful to read
the sections that Twain drafted as if they were somehow pure Twain, untouched by Warner.