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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
James Caron <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 07:31:42 -1000
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Thanks, Sharon, for taking some time to help decide if SLC actually
uttered/wrote that phrase: that was indeed what my question was meant to
convey, and as Judith said, I figured that was clear enough when I said
authentic to this crowd.  I suppose if brevity is the soul of wit it may
also be a source of confusion.

Like you, Sharon, my instinct was that Mr. Clemens did not say this, even
in his best Mark Twain moments of hating on democracy, like Curious
Republic of Gondour.

My family thinks I know everything about Mark Twain, but of course the
forum collectively is the closest to that plenitude.

Best to all

On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 2:18 AM, Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi, Jim --
> has this to say:
> twain-voting-quote/
> Dan Evon, writing the entry, has found a similar quote in a "letter to the
> =
> editor column" in 1976, and points out that most of the websites passing
> th=
> is around these days provide alternative versions of the phrasing, which
> is=
>  a good sign that it is wishful thinking rather than a quotation. =20
> Searching the phrasing in Google Books, limiting the time frame to cut out
> =
> the past few years (I used (1/1/1850 - 12/31/2001), the exact phrasing you
> =
> ask about appears in 2001, on a website called My Quoty, attributing it to
> =
> Mark Twain, but without any sense of a source.   It shows up again in 2014
> =
> in a book by Christopher Alexander Berg, called _White Slavery_, and was
> pe=
> rpetuated through sites like the Watchmen.
> We can all form our own opinions about how Clemens would have felt about
> th=
> ese last two, but it seems pretty clear to me that it isn't his.  I
> checked=
>  carefully, actually, because my personal gut response was that this was
> an=
>  unlikely quote coming from someone who had written "The Curious Republic
> o=
> f Gondour," no matter how disillusioned he ever became about governments.
> =
> Personally, I think he'd be more likely to appreciate the Yale satire
> piece=
> , written this year by "James Madison" -- which effectively critiques the
> s=
> tate limitations on the electoral college (language warning, if you look
> it=
>  up - but, then, Clemens might have enjoyed its profanity as well).
> Hope you and your family are well.
> Sharon =20
>  =20
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
> 3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
> Sharon D. McCoy, Ph.D.
> Editor, All Things Twain:  An Encyclopedia of Mark Twain's World
>       (forthcoming, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO)
> Contributing Editor, Humor in America (on hiatus)
> Department of English
> University of Georgia
> 254 Park Hall
> Athens, GA  30602
> Office:  Park 44
> (706) 542-1261 (messages)
> What is life but a satire of our own pretensions?
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
> 3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
> ________________________________________
> From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of James Caron
> [caron@H=
> Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 9:41 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: an authentic quote?
> "If voting made a difference they wouldn't let us do it."
> Inquiring minds would like to know.