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Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1

The Complete and Authoritative Edition

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Description

"I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away—to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography." Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion—to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"—meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind." The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.

Editors:

Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Myrick

Publishers Weekly Review

Sep 30, 2013 – Several chapters into this sprawling volume, Mark Twain (“Sam,” to his friends) professes: “I can say now what I could not say while alive—things which it would shock people to hear.” Though not quite shocking, these rambling reminiscences (spanning 1860 to 1906, when Twain began dictating them) offer tart appraisals of matters personal (“In the early days I liked Bret Harte . . . but by and by I got over it”), political (“ represents what the American gentleman ought not to be, and does it as clearly, intelligibly, and exhaustively as he represents what the American gentleman is”), and universal (“The political and commercial morals of the United States of America are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet”). The detailed and digressive narrative ping-pongs back and forth between the past and present, covering incidents including: Twain negotiating the publication of Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs; his youthful interest in mesmerism; the San Francisco earthquake of 1906; and swindles he endured from publishers. Twain traveled extensively and befriended many luminaries, and his colorful experiences give the book the same Dickensian scope as the first volume, and presents a vivid picture of America in the 19th century and Twain’s indelible mark on it. 50 b&w photos.
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1
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  • $31.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Published: Nov 15, 2010
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Seller: University of California Press
  • Print Length: 760 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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