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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 14 Oct 2010 20:52:03 -0400
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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The talk of Twain and suicide is prominent in Phillip Fanning's book about Orion Clemens.

Dennis Kelly

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Talbot <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 3:36 pm
Subject: Re: Twain's thoughts of suicide

Dear Chris,
Not marginalia but direct reference....You'll find it in Justin Kaplan's Mr.
Clemens and Mark Twain. Kaplan quotes Twain as he refers to the incident.
You should find it in the front of the book. Twain in his early years on the
Pacific Slope had fallen on hard times in San Francisco. Paraphrasing:
"There was a time when I put a pistol to my head. Even though I didn't
succeed I have never regretted having done so."

I thumbed my copy pretty good but didn't locate it, but I know that I did
just read it last week as I began my 7th read through of this award winning

Good luck
Rick Talbot

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Leslie Myrick
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:16 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Twain's thoughts of suicide

Google Books is an excellent tool for queries like this. I entered  
three terms: Clemens suicide marginalia -- the second hit returned was  
Phipps' Mark Twain's Religion, p. 53,  where in n. 56 he cites  
Clemsns' copy of the Letters of James Russell Lowell as the source  
you're seeking. Further searching for corroboration in Gribben or  
Google Books should nail it.
Leslie Myrick

On Oct 14, 2010, at 5:34 AM, Christopher D. Morris wrote:

> To the members of the Mark Twain Forum,
> I've been trying to track down the source of the story about the  
> night =
> in 1866 when Twain considered suicide. Apparently Twain mentioned  
> the =
> incident in the margins of a book he was reading in the early 1900s; =
> I've learned that the particular reference can be found in Alan =
> Gribben's Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction (2 volumes). This =
> excellent work lists and comments on Twain's books alphabetically,  
> and =
> there is no index. So, before I begin with the entry for Abbey's Old =
> Songs and work my way through to Zurcher's Meteors, I thought I'd  
> check =
> to see if anyone knows which particular book the marginalia appears  
> in. =
> Thanks to anyone who can help me.
> Christopher Morris