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Alan Eliasen <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:42:48 -0700
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   I found Robert's friendly heads-up of an interesting Twain auction
and willingness to provide more information to be information that may
be useful to the various Twain scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts
that might want to own a piece of Twaniana, or even see what a real
pre-first-edition or what Twain's handwriting looks like.  After all,
Sotheby's doesn't make their catalogue public, (it appears that you must
be a "member" of their website to even browse it; I wanted to read the
poem and see what the book looked like,) and most of us would never know
about it otherwise.  Thanks, Robert.

   As for the policy on commercial postings, I might just say "Judge
not, lest ye be judged."  If buying or selling or even mentioning Twain
works has suddenly become evil in this society, (and that would be a
surprise, and a shame!) and somehow "prohibited" by an all-powerful
moderator, then your commercial advertisements for your own personal
book seller in every one of your messages (quoted above) might not be
permitted.  So caution may be advised, for your own sake.  Or, if you
want to prove that your heart is in the right place, and that sale or
commercial messages of any kind should not be permitted, no matter how
un-interested or innocuous they may be, you may wish to remove your
commercial solicitiation from your own signature line in further
postings.  I don't want you to, but it would certainly bolster your
moral position from the rather paradoxical state it might now appear to
impartial observers.  Yours appears to be a commercial solicitation that
unambiguously benefits you personally.  I don't know if Robert's is.

   Kevin, if you don't mind, for full, open disclosure, would you state
if you were planning on or will you be bidding on either item either
personally or through proxy?  You don't have to answer, but your strong
response to an innocuous message could be interpreted by a skeptical
journalist as having alternate interest, one perhaps of keeping the
existence of such auction items quiet among those who might bid on them.
 You may not be interested in them at all.  I'm not accusing you of
anything; I honestly don't care, other than to make sure that everyone
is held to the same standard that you seem to be advocating and that you
brought up.

   I would hardly want to restrain either of you from informing us of
important Twain works for sale, or new works like the poem mentioned by
Robert; in fact that's why some people are here.  None of us want to see
vendors post your catalogues here weekly, though.

Alan Eliasen