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Taylor Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 4 Dec 2016 22:15:39 -0500
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I am sorry to report that Vic Doyno died on November 16, according to
an obituary at

His wonderful edition of MT’s skeptical writings strongly attracted me
to MT many years ago (_Mark Twain: Selected Writings of an American
Skeptic_ [Prometheus Books, 1983]). A couple of memorable sections
from Doyno’s introduction to that book are below:

"One current widespread view of Mark Twain holds that his scathing
skepticism and acid pessimism were caused by the many personal
tragedies of his life.... But another, more thorough view of the man
and his work would transcend this simple biographical explanation. As
this book demonstrates, Mark Twain’s skepticism is found throughout
his published works, early to late. It is an oversimplification--and
finally disrespectful to the man and his mind--simply to say that
personal difficulties caused his skepticism. A wider perspective
reveals that his background, his experience, his journalistic ability
to be objective and to see only what is there, his reading, and, most
of all his intellectual acuity contributed to the shape of his
thought." (2)

"His overall life experience led Sam Clemens/Mark Twain to know that
this life, this earth, is all we know of heaven--and all we need to
know of hell." (12)

I had the pleasure to meet Vic at some conferences and he was such a
pleasant gentleman, as one would hope of one’s heroes. I send my
condolences to his family and friends, and also my gratitude for his
many other contributions to MT studies and to the Forum.

Feel free to post your own memories so we can "give him a good
send-off and waltz him through handsome" (RI ch. 47).

Taylor Roberts