Thu, 7 Oct 2010 15:16:01 -0500
There really aren't enough superlatives to describe the job that the
editors of the Mark Twain Project have done with _Autobiography of
Mark Twain, Vol. 1_ (2010). At 737 pages, the Amazon price of under
$20 is a true bargain for a hardcover book of this size and scope.
Readiing from an advance copy, the first 100 pages alone have provided
a clear and concise insight into Mark Twain's creative process for the
autobiography; lengthy previously unpublished material; and a keen
awareness of how Albert Bigelow Paine and others edited Mark Twain's
dictation for public presentation. One brief example regarding a
quote related to inventor James W. Paige:
Paige and I always meet on effusively affectionate terms, and yet he
knows perfectly well that if I had him in a steel-trap I would shut
out all human succor and watch that trap till he died.
- Mark Twain, A Biography_, edited by Albert Bigelow Paine (1912)
Paige and I always meet on effusively affectionate terms; and yet he
knows perfectly well that if I had his nuts in a steel-trap I would
shut out all human succor and watch that trap till he died.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain (University of California Press, 2010)
Other editions of the autobiography will now serve as historical
curiosities by comparison.