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Kim Rogers <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:10:48 -1000
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Hi David,

I'll definitely keep an eye out for any surf-bathing tidbits that I stumble upon during my research. For sure. I haven't immersed myself in the complete range of Twain's lecture notes and/or newspaper accounts thereof. Have you reviewed his extant notebooks? If not, I have a copy of Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals (eds. Anderson, Frank, and Sanderson) from the time of Twain's visit. I don't recall much mention of surfing, if at all, but I can do another read-through for you if you haven't searched that volume yet. Just let me know.

And what a great opportunity to see Hal Holbrook in action. Did he offer any insights on your query?

Good to hear from you.


Kim Steutermann Rogers
Write: [log in to unmask] 
Call: 808.634.6667 (cell)

Begin forwarded message:

> From: David Matuszak <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: In Search of Mark Twain’s Missing Hawaii Note book
> Date: January 21, 2015 at 3:16:08 PM HST
> To: Kim Rogers <[log in to unmask]>
> Kim,
> Sounds like there's two of us in search Twain's Hawaii.
> I know nothing of another notebook, but the possibility intrigues me. It may unlock the Twain mystery that I'm attempting to solve.
> I am writing a comprehensive history of surfing. In it I'm attempting to explain Twain's complete association with surfing, but I've been unable to resolve one issue. Perhaps you can shed some light on it…
> I posted this inquiry on the Twain Forum some time ago, but received just a single response.
> Care to weigh-in on the subject?
> I am attempting to document any Twain reference/comment to surfing ("surf-bathing") other than his comments in his novel Roughing It. (Twain attempted surfing while in Hawaii, failed miserably, and described the experience years later in Roughing It.)
> My extensive review of the literature (including the Twain Project website) revealed that Twain rarely, if ever, mentioned his surfing attempt in his lectures. Given the novelty of "surf-bathing" or "wave-sliding" at the time, it seems odd that Twain routinely omitted the experience from his lectures.
> Questions:
> 1. Does anyone have a Twain lecture review that specifically mentions
> surfing ("surf-bathing" or "wave-sliding")?
> 2. Does anyone have any ideas or would like to speculate why Twain
> prominently mentions his surfing attempt in the novel Roughing It, but
> failed to routinely include it his Sandwich Island or Roughing It lectures?
> I look forward to hearing from you,
> David Matuszak
> P.S. I saw Hal Holbrook's Twain stage show last weekend and had the opportunity to pose the same questions to Holbrook himself during a backstage meeting with him.
> On Jan 21, 2015, at 3:56 PM, Kim Rogers wrote:
>> Could there be a fourth Hawaii notebook?
>> First, allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Kim Steutermann Rogers, a=
>> nd I am a writer and journalist living in Hawaii and researching Twain=E2=80=
>> =99s visit nearly 150 years ago. I find it ironic that I came of age and spe=
>> nt my early adult years in Mark Twain=E2=80=99s home state, graduating from M=
>> issouri School of Journalism, but it wasn=E2=80=99t until I moved to Hawaii 1=
>> 5 years ago that the Twain bug bit.
>> I made a brief appearance here some years back while working on my MFA in Cr=
>> eative Nonfiction Writing. But, then, a j-o-b and life got in the way, and b=
>> y the time I got back around to this little Twain project of mine, I=E2=80=99=
>> d changed emails and had to re-join the List.
>> Now, the fun.
>> In addition to re-joining the group, I returned to the Mark Twain Project & P=
>> apers in Berkeley this past November where I held in my hands one of two ext=
>> ant notebooks--the second was out for digitizing--from Twain=E2=80=99s visit=
>> to Hawaii, and I admit to holding it to my nose in hopes of a lingering sce=
>> nt of cigar smoke. Alas, there was none.=20
>> These two notebooks cover Twain's ocean voyages to and from Hawaii along wit=
>> h notes from some weeks on O'ahu. However, most scholars believe there was a=
>> third Hawaii notebook that went missing some time after Twain returned to S=
>> an Francisco. In it, it's felt, he wrote notes about his visits to Maui and B=
>> ig Island--no matter how much he professed in personal letters to not writin=
>> g a lick while he was on Maui.=20
>> Presumably, he used his notes from this missing notebook to write the last e=
>> ight of 25 letters about Hawaii for the Sacramento Union after his return to=
>> San Francisco. All but one of these eight are narrative in form and recount=
>> his adventures exploring Big Island with his fictive traveling companion Mr=
>> . Brown. The lone non-Big Island, non-Mr. Brown letter covers the growing en=
>> terprise of sugar in Hawaii. In it, Twain compares the productivity of sugar=
>> cane per acre in Hawaii to that in Louisiana and Mauritius. He lists the an=
>> nual yield rates for 29 plantations in Hawaii. He identifies the costs of gr=
>> owing sugar cane in Louisiana and Hawaii. He shares specific details about t=
>> he maturation rate of sugar cane. He goes into great detail about the proces=
>> sing of sugar cane. All in all, this is a straight business reportage letter=
>> filled with facts and figures and not a single character or anecdote, and, a=
>> s such, quite different from the other seven letters on Big Island.
>> And that's what got me wondering: Could there have been a fourth notebook? A=
>> nd maybe it went missing before he got around to writing the last of his Sac=
>> ramento Union letters.
>> Because Twain had plenty of adventures on Maui. He went for a week but staye=
>> d five. He toured sugar plantations, trekked up Haleakala, and explored 'Iao=
>> Valley, and he would spend the rest of his life pining to return to Hawaii,=
>> in particular Maui. So why didn't he write more about those experiences? He=
>> adds a few anecdotes about Maui in Roughing It but just barely.
>> According to a Mr. Armstrong with whom Twain often visited on Maui, sitting o=
>> n Armstrong's lanai chatting and smoking cigars, "He would write over at the=
>> other house, where he slept, until two or three o'clock in the morning, the=
>> n sleep the next day." (Goodhue, E.S., "Mark Twain's Hawaiian Home," Mid-Pac=
>> ific Magazine, August 12, 1916, 177-181.)
>> In Mark Twain=E2=80=99s Notebooks & Journals, Volume 1, the editors (Frederi=
>> ck Anderson, Michael B. Frank, and Kenneth M. Sanderson) write, "Upon receiv=
>> ing a commission to go to the Sandwich Islands in the spring of 1866 to repo=
>> rt on conditions there for the Sacramento Union, the developing writer took a=
>> t least three notebooks along."
>> With the great wealth of knowledge here, I am wondering if anyone=E2=80=99s h=
>> eard or read anything on this theory with which I=E2=80=99m playing--about a=
>> fourth Hawaii notebook. Maybe someone already studied this possibility and r=
>> uled it out for one reason or another. But if not, I'm also curious what oth=
>> ers think about the likelihood of a fourth Hawaii notebook. How likely/unlik=
>> ely it could be. Or any other thoughts
>> I look forward to hearing what you think.
>> Mahalo,
>> Kim
>> Kim Steutermann Rogers
>> PO Box 823
>> Anahola, HI 96703
>> Read:
>> Write: [log in to unmask]
>> Call: 808-634-6667
>> Tweet:
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>> Photograph:
>> Sent from my iPad=