Mon, 27 Sep 1999 23:18:14 -0400
Dear Twainians: I'd like to offer a short comment on Larry's and
Wesley's review of Twain at the Buffalo Express. I'd like to make the
somewhat obvious point that once Twain was an owner he could publish
everything he wished to print. In that time that greater availability
of publishing meant that Twain also had much greater access to being
picked up by the other newspapers as "exchanges," the usually free
(think uncompensated!) reprinting in countless other papers.
I think that the greater availability of being picked up in
helped to make him more of a national figure more quickly. We'll never
know how IA would have sold without the exchanges. Put another way,
Jumping Frog was popular, but IA quickly sold very well, over 100,000,
as I remember. Mucho dinero! The exchanges were great free publicity.
I would also mention that Twain's write-up about the literary
of the prize-winning essays at the Buffalo Female Academy can serve as a
smart, short revelation of his own aesthetics at that time. Twain wrote
the piece, and David Gray read it.
Best, Vic Doyno