Fellow Twainiacs --
The comparisons between Spalding Gray and Sam are a bit off kilter. I met
Gray several times during the course of my peripatetic career, and we had
wonderful exchanges. There is no question he was brilliant, ferociously
articulate yet somehow not completely connected to his many parts and selves.
Then again, most writers of any importance aren't.
Also, Sam created and sustained a persona distinct from himself (anyone
who wants backup on that should check out the Claymation film "The Adventures
of Mark Twain," which may be the most dead-on account ever to address the
Sam/Mark dichotomy. It was marketed as a kids' film and sank; any help in locating
the video would be deeply appreciated), which Spalding did not.
Sam was a reporter, an observer; what Spalding saw triggered stuff inside
him. While not exactly a narcissist, he owes no debt to Sam.
Yours in Twain,
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