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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 9 Jan 1994 01:14:25 -0500
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Dear Twain-L List Members,
Can anyone tell me what was going on in Twain's life in 1897 and 1898,
more than whatWilliam Macnaughton writes in his _Mark Twain's Last
Years as a Writer_ (U of MO Press, 1979)?
Macnaughton notes that Twain was living in Vienna, was lionized by the
elite, was worried about his and his family's health, his writing, and
its publication.
I am specifically interested in any information you can give me about
why he wrote *Concerning the Jews*  Macnaughton indicates that Twain
got involved in this essay because of the ongoing developments in the
Dreyfus Affair and that Twain was proud of his essay and believed it
to be iconoclastic. But Macnaughton does not elaborate on why Twain
was proud of his essay and precisely how he saw it as iconoclastic.
Macnaughton alsobelieves Twain to be *not thoroughly under control.*
Could this have some bearing on the writing of his essay,much of which
seems to me to be shot from the hip, and widely missing its mark.
Except that it reflects widely help stereotypes about Jews of the

Bob Michael
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth