TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:50:46 +0000
Clay Shannon <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Clay Shannon <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (53 lines)
Thanks, Kevin!
I've got "THE COMPLETE INTERVIEWS" in my amazon queue/wish list. I've got half a dozen Twain books in my current stack of books that I'm reading, three at a time - one by my sofa, one on my nightstand, and one at work for lunchtime reading. - B. Clay Shannon

      From: Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2016 7:03 AM
 Subject: Re: Which "low" is meant?
I think they mean soft volume, but perhaps more than that. Twain often 
mumbled asides, and his drawl came and went. It may have been a combination 
of these things. I'd suggest getting a copy of THE COMPLETE INTERVIEWS and a 
copy of my review of that book (which includes page refs) and track how 
Twain's stage voice varied. I don't think I specifically discussed the "low 
volume" but I noted his changing drawl. Not to oversimplify, but when he was 
overseas there's evidence the drawl receded and that he was clearly 
understood (and comments about his drawl vanish from reviews of his 
lectures), but it returned when he got back on native soil (and so did the 
comments in reviews). I vaguely recall Clara making a comment about his 
drawl sometimes evaporating, probably in MY FATHER MT, but maybe elsewhere. 
The drawl and the mumbling and the voice modulations, which I attach to the 
public persona of "Mark Twain" would have been a challenge to perform in the 
days before sound systems and in a wide variety of venues with terrible 

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: Clay Shannon
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Which "low" is meant?

I'm reading a book by Paul Fatout about Mark Twain on the lecture circuit. =
In it, some reviewers complain that Mark Twain's voice was "low" as he lect=
Did they mean "low" in tonal range (bassy) or did they mean "low" in volume=
I assume the latter, as his singing voice has been described as a "beautifu=
l tenor" but would like to know "y'alls" take on it.=C2=A0- B. Clay Shannon