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Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 25 Sep 2021 17:36:51 -0500
text/plain (38 lines)
I do not think there was any cholera aboard the steamer AMERICA when
Clemens composed “Genius” if the date in the notebook of Dec. 21 is correct
and that is when he did indeed write “Genius.”

There is no indication of the cause of death of the child on Christmas Eve
aboard the AMERICA and attributing it to cholera may be difficult to prove.
The AMERICA arrived in Nicaragua on Dec. 28, 1866 and there encountered
cholera. It was after Clemens boarded the SAN FRANCISCO that the cholera
spread among the passengers and the tone of his journal entries changed.

However ..... Notebook 7 is described as “chaotic” and without seeing how
the pages are bound in Notebook 7, it may be difficult to conclude on just
which leg of the journey the work was composed if those pages have been
disbound and reinserted at a later time.


On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Matt Seybold <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Jocelyn & I recently wrote about this, including scans of the original
> from Twain’s notebooks, courtesy of the Mark Twain Project:
> > On Sep 25, 2021, at 3:53 PM, Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > I posted this quote on Facebook without any explanation and got back
> some curious responses.  I'm wondering if anyone can add light to
> why-where-and/or when:
> >
> > "Geniuses are people who dash off weird, wild, incomprehensible poems
> with astonishing facility, & then go & get booming drunk & sleep in the
> gutter…people who have genius do not pay their board, as a general thing”
> >
> > I suspect he was reacting to someone being referred to as a genius...