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Milind Khadilkar <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 25 Dec 1997 22:18:21 +0530
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Dear Members,

Am new, uninitiated, uneducated; hence beg indulgence...

While reading MT works, I have often marveled at his daring use of
numbers and arithmetic in books that are essentially non technical. And
his ability and readiness to use them in great ways. (Ex: how his birth
increased the population of the village by one percent; and how, by a
process of extrapolation, one could deduce, in effect, that the source
and the mouth of The River would be just about adjacent sometime in the
future) This is in great contrast to the "pride" most literary figures
take in their ignorance of all things numerical. (Sorry for the
unwarranted generalisation).

Is there something in his background that makes Mark Twain so conscious
of the power of numbers? Does it stem from his fact-laden journalistic
days? Or from the earlier piloting days where he maintained logs? Or was
it developed after his association with the "calculating" publishers of
his books?

Could the gurus guide me further to a study on "Mark Twain and Numbers"
by sending pointers to answers to the above questions?

Also, could someone provide me information on Mark Twain's views on O
Henry and his works?

I would appreciate being told if the above posting was not appropriate.

Thanks and best wishes,

Milind Khadilkar