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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 15:12:53 -0600
Reply-To: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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From: Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
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Twain did indeed alter his published texts for public readings: He added 
back words that had been censored in print. In one case, a person he called 
an "insect" in one of his stories (in print) he called an "ass" when 
speaking on stage, restoring the original text.

As for the word in question (which I'm not spelling out here only because 
some email filters will snag it) let's remember what Dick Gregory said: To 
paraphrase Gregory, he said Twain tossed the word up in the air and Gregory 
caught it used it as the title of his autobiography. If you need further 
insights into the word, read Randall Kennedy's book of that same title. I 
strongly recommend the illustrated edition.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
Member: ABAA, ILAB
You may browse our books at:

-----Original Message----- 
From: Alan Kitty
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 2:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reasons to quit (using the "N" word)

Your passion is notable. And of course, you are correct -- from a =
literary point of view.=20

I have seen dozens of Twain performances by as many artists. And =
although I have used the word myself, I have not heard any other Twain =
interpreter use it. But, for the most part, I imagine the word is =
avoided for reasons far beyond political correctness. Having said that, =
performances of a literary work =E2=80=94 according to Twain himself =E2=80=
=94 should not be read. Hence, the rendition is not the work, but a =
memorized version of it. Even the author himself might have missed or =
substituted words. And no two performances are exactly alike. It is =
absurd to think otherwise.=20