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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:03:56 -0500
text/plain (46 lines)
This has happened before, and probably many more
times than we realize,  or of which we are aware.

A good time, perhaps, to re-visit the  Twain/Holmes experience,
with a modern day perspective:

SLC  would have pleaded to "Death by mortification," 
I think, absent Holmes's  graciousness.

Roger Durrett
Charlotte, NC

In a message dated 11/23/2014 4:37:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:
My first thought is that one should not fall  for the post-hoc ergo
propter hoc fallacy. That one passage only preceded the  other is no
proof the two are related.

To evaluate fully this  question, one must be fortunate enough to drift
over the clear water of Lake  Tahoe and gaze downward into its depths
as Twain did and later recalled.  Looking down from a high vantage
point is the only way one can describe this  experience. Today,
awestruck tourists commonly compare this inspiring  sensation to flying
on an airplane. In the 19th century, airplanes did not  exist, but
hot-air balloons did. Lake Tahoe is one of only very few large  lakes
throughout the world where one can experience this feeling.

One  might be tempted to conclude that if a passage was plagiarized, it
must not  be true. However, plagiarism does not mean the subject is
untrue, only the  culprit author’s personal values are questionable.

At worst, Twain might  have borrowed the literary treatment, but the
accuracy of his observations is  indisputable. His description of the
offshore distance, size, and geologic  classification of the boulders
is specific to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  These conditions only
occur within the zone offshore of his campsite on  Stateline Point.

David C. Antonucci
Author of Fairest Picture - Mark  Twain at Lake Tahoe