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Michael Kiskis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 29 Oct 2010 09:57:40 -0400
text/plain (61 lines)
I am going to self-serving this morning, and I hope that the managers of
this list will allow it.

I am consistently surprised that most commentators on the autobiography
insist that there have only been three versions prior to the MTP edition --
Paine's, DeVoto's, and Neider's.  In fact, even the editors of the MTP
autobiography focus on only those three.  There appears to be no attention
paid to the fourth edition -- *Mark Twain's Own Autobiography, *a collection
of the material Clemens published as "Chapters from my autobiography" in the
*North American Review *(1906-1907).  I first presented that material in an
edition from University of Wisconsin Press in 1990; a second edition with an
expanded introduction and updated annotations and bibliography appeared in

While a case can be made that the NAR text is separate from the mass of
autobiographical manuscripts, it was shaped out of those materials by
Clemens and George Harvey (editor of the NAR).  Therefore, I think it
deserves some mention in the list.  And I think that the critical
introduction to the volume, which places it within the context of the later
editions as well as the process of composing the autobiography, deserves
some attention for shaping questions that inform our reading of Clemens'
chaotic texts.

I apologize for this brief interruption.

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 8:11 AM, Mark Twain Forum List Administrator <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> N.B. I am posting this on behalf of Craig Fehrman.--Kevin B.
> ~~~~~
> A few months back, I sent you the link to my story on the fate of Mark
> Twain's Greenwich Village home. I've got another weird Twain story -- this
> time in Slate, and this time on the long history of Twain's autobiography
> and the various editors who broke his embargo and then found themselves
> embroiled in mini-scandals. The essay includes everything from Cold War
> intrigue to the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. Plus, of course,
> a
> lot of Twain.
> Anyway, seemed like something the Twain-L readers might enjoy.
> Best,
> Craig
> <end>

Michael J. Kiskis
Leonard Tydings Grant Professor of American Literature
Elmira College
One Park Place
Elmira, NY  14901