JMS on Usenet


Subject: Re: ATTN JMS S2 commentary comment
Date: 25 May 2003 08:59:54 GMT
From: (Jms at B5)

> Joe, one of the problems that Mark Twain scholars have to deal with is
>that a number of his writings weren't published until after his death, and
>were often then bowdlerized to the point that there's still debate about his
>original opinions and intent. (MT is my favorite author...)

Same here.  He's always been a seminal influence on my work.  I have pretty
much everything he's ever written, absent the five volume set of his journals
that's only available to libraries.  "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" is
still one of my favorite pieces, as is "The War Prayer," leading to its nod in

His essays, to which you refer, are some of his best work, especially his takes
on Adam, Eve, heaven, hell and the rest.  

For anyone looking on: there is one book I tell anyone who wants to be a
writer, to read.  Twain's autobiography.  It is, quite honestly, probably the
best book, best autobiography, ever written.  Funny, inspiring, moving, sad,
and deeply profound.  We think of bios from that time as being dry or
irrelevant...TRUST me on this one.  It's anything but.  I consider it one of
the best books I've ever read.

As for the problem of who really wrote what, and what got changed: we have one
benefit he didn't have: read-only PDF files.


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