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Epub Mark Twain ï ï Autobiography of Mark Twain The Complete and Authoritative

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you for the moment meant that his thoughts could range freely The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out he would be dead and unaware and indifferent and that he was therefore free to speak his whole frank mind The year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


10 thoughts on “Autobiography of Mark Twain The Complete and Authoritative Edition Volume 1

  1. says:

    I read this in the audiobook versionThe editors’ long and tedious explanation of the autobiographical material takes up most of the first part of this three part audiobook I believe that Mark Twain would have had a good laugh at the pomposity of the editors and their footnotes; unfortunately I found it insufferably boring and a very poor use of audio If I had been reading a print version I would have skimmed or skipped this beginning all together I wanted to read Twain’s writing not what all those other folks think I should get out of reading it A very brief We got this stuff from lots of different places and times and some of it's literal and some of it isn't Enjoy would have been fine with me Twain does an excellent job of explaining himselfA mishmash of writing by Mark Twain Some made me smile some was historically interesting and some made me shake my head in wonder that so little has changed in 100 years


  2. says:

    Well let me start off by saying I have always disliked Garrison Keillor and now feel certain that it would be reciprocal if say we met at a party For those of you not aware of why a review about Mark Twain's autobiography starts with a my dislike of Keillor feel free to check out Keillor's take on this book in the New York Times And then do remember that Twain was a great American writer who popularized the travelogue the American historical novel and was a master of creating sketches of American life while lampooning the stubborn the crass and sometimes the hateful or desperate in our world GK on the other hand has mined middle america for a type of ironic cornpone that affords a chuckle of recognition over his knowledge of cultural mileposts for a tiny group of people that may have existed for 30 40 years if they ever existed at all He might have begun that crap as satire but his own limited abilities to create a fine point have made his believers see his homespun bs as truth that middle country caucasians are god's gift to the world Oh that he has a style there is no doubt but so did Henry Luce and Leni Reifenstahl And Sarah Palin who probably tunes in regularlyIn contrast the sketches throughout this book and the sense that Twain went at this a few different ways is exactly why this book is worthwhile The chance to pick up this hefty book it's main drawback if you can call it that and be drawn into a story about a Venetian house Twain has rented that he puzzles over why are the stables right below the bedrooms? why are the walls all the ugliest yellow? is priceless Twain saysI shall go into details of this house not because I imagine it differs from any other old time place or new time place on the continent of Europe but because every one of its crazy details interest me This by the way was a particular area that GK moaned over in the book asking why we would care I am not sure I understand his point Have you read Twain before? Did you not expect details galore?I would say I'd like less of Suzy Twain's daughter in this but that is to be expected from a very proud father But stories like the story of being spied on without clothes by girls at a young age and then remaining terrified all of his childhood that they would tease him in front of their group is simple truth And then when he runs into one of the girls as old people that's the type of tale that I WOULD stand in the middle of the room at a party to enjoyAs you can imagine I have not finished the book and do not expect to Sort of like a child's pool in the backyard in hot August the idea is to dip in as needed It also seems like a nice neighborly book to keep around the other books allowing them to look with awe at its massive bulk and feel comforted that they were all in a house that appreciated diversity and had no truck with coordinated displays on shelves And of course if a certain radio hack in love with his own voice happens by one fine day I can always use it for a uick chuck It will survive the anger And flourish in spite of it of that I have no doubt


  3. says:

    5★I know he played it safe and wouldn't allow his estate to release this until 100 years after his death but it has missed an audience that would have revelled in his gossip much of which has lost a lot of its meaning over the years Clemens became a very important and popular public figure attended countless lunches dinners and meetings and was a highly sought after speaker His reminiscences are full of famous people and he really seems to enjoy being a name dropper since he mixed with the rich and the powerful but the names don't carry nearly the weight these days as they would have even 50 years ago History buffs will recognise a lot of them but other than that we have to take his word for it that it was a real coup to be received by Mrs So and SoMy dad would have loved it and I admit to a bit of a thrill when I saw one of his books as one of the MANY references I grew up with Twain all around me since he was my father's speciality so it was kind of like reading about a famous distant relative He's a good storyteller but mostly it's the absolutely beautiful command of the language that is such a joy I just had to read some sentences or episodes aloud Gee I wish people could still write like that


  4. says:

    I read the whole thing cover to cover minus the appendix notes which I merely browsed And as massive as it was I was genuinely sad when the last page came That's all? I'm ready for volume two right nowI feel so fortunate to be alive in 2010 and get to read these words Twain didn't want published until 100 years after his death Actually much of it has been published before so there was a lot I was already familiar with But it was almost magical to read Twain's thoughts musings and than occassional ramblings that have never been made public before When else does this happen with favorite artists musicians writers who are long dead? Almost neverTwain is all over the place here the topics are random and far flung But his voice rings true on every page His lovely cranky cynical hilarious insightful entertaining voice I simply can't get enough


  5. says:

    It is a sorry day when I have to write a review of anything by Mark Twain and say I didn't like it given that I adore Twain and pretty much all of his previously published works So why didn't I like this book? And why will I boycott Volumes 2 and 3 when presumably they're published? Because this book is the literary euivalent of what you see when a famous musician dies and hisher copyright heirs rush to release every garage recording ever made by the dead musician The only difference here is that Twain's folks waited until he'd been dead 100 years purported in accordance with Twain's own instructions So then if the only issue is the century of delay why is the uality poor? It's poor because Twain never actually wrote a book called his autobiography Repeatedly throughout his life he'd start an autobiography dictate a few chapters and then drop it Twain never completed any book that he would have said was his autobiography much less edited or polished any of the snippets he'd dictated This book is really the work of a committee of Twain scholars who have patched together numerous bits pieces including letters that Twain wrote and never published and then appended to them seemingly every snippet Twain ever dictated in his many attempts to write an autobiography of himself Would that it WERE an autobiography But since it's not if you're really interested in Twain's life read a biography of him written by a real author


  6. says:

    I'm saddened to say I'm glad it's over This loosely organized collection of rough drafts unfinished sketches false starts essays about other people and dictated notes about random events met with a terrible fate at the hands of the editors who obviously thought that we'd be just as thrilled to read their take on this autobiography We are not More than 200 pages of tedious ramblings about what a great job they did is not my idea of uality editing Yeah I realize it's an academic edition so it's supposed to be like that including the long introduction and the detailed description of prior autobiographical attempts but chasing down each scrap of autobiographical notes AND informing us in detail about the whole process is a bit too much I wonder whether I as a reader would prefer to have a austerely edited variant of the book meaning that trivial and uninteresting parts would be left out so that I'm granted the ability to preserve my opinion of Twain's writing or whether I'd feel that I'm missing out on something important I'm afraid I'm not though I won't be reading the next volumes I think it's preferable for me to just stick to his other works


  7. says:

    To tell the truth I'm not really sure what version of this I read It was on the kindle I still have on long term loan from a friend thanks again Amy and I'm not going to wade through to try to figure out which one exactly it is I read some of Mark Twain's autobiography Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision hereIn the meantime you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  8. says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegallyIt's funny I think how random the process can sometimes be of who we as a culture decide to remember for decades or sometimes centuries after their time and who we tend to forget just a generation or two after their death no matter how famous they were when alive; take for example Samuel Clemens who I'll be referring to for the rest of this essay by his pen name Mark Twain no notorious in the late 1800s than a hundred other people who served as his peers but now a century later with 90 percent of those peers forgotten by the general public but with Twain still thought of in an almost godlike fashion pretty remarkable for a failed journalist and a bit of a crank who is best known for a series of folksy populist tales about a romanticized American past But then again once you stop and think about it Twain actually accomplished a lot than these businessmen and politicians around him who have now faded into obscurity; because for international readers who might not know Twain came of age in a period of American history very similar in my opinion to what a place like India is going through right now a period when the US was dragging itself from second world to first world status for the first time and was desperate to establish its first generation of artists writers and thinkers to have a truly global effect on culture artists who espoused an entirely new school of thought apart from what they learned simply by traveling to the already established parts of the cultured world And Twain was one of these people who at first became an international hit by writing post Civil War pastoral tales about a uaint and innocent rural America that had never actually existed then honed his skills in his later years into a series of brilliantly satirical tales challenging the status uo establishing a type of uniue American humor snarky political pop culture infused that many Americans fondly look at as an integral part of our entire national spiritSo no wonder then that Twain's century in waiting autobiography has unexpectedly become such a huge hit see this fascinating NYT article for turns out that the academic press who put this out went with an original print run of only 7500 copies thinking that the 800 page tome would be of interest to scholars only but with it in actuality selling a third of a million copies in just its first few months; not just because of Twain's still near holy status with most Americans but because of the instantly intriguing hook behind its publication the fact that Twain demanded that it not be published until a full hundred years after his death so that he could feel free to write whatever nasty little stuff about the people around him that he wanted Now granted this hasn't uite held true in the resulting century four smaller versions of this behemoth manuscript were published at various points throughout the 20th century but here on the literal centennial of his death we are finally seeing the full and uncensored version for the first time a publicist's wet dream that has made for dozens of fevered headlines from a lazy mainstream pressBut there are several important things to know about this book before reading it technically only volume one of a coming three book set things that will help temper your enthusiasm down to a reasonable level; for example of that giant bound volume now in stores a full half of it is merely obsessive notes concerning the condition of the Mark Twain Papers when they were unearthed again for this project with there turning out to have been three different physical copies in the vaults with multiple sets of notes their authors and ages often in doubt which was then further complicated by the fact that Twain sometimes out and out lied in these reminisces sometimes exaggerated the truth and sometimes in his old age simply got details wrong when transcribing them And that's the second important thing to know that far from this being a traditional bio written in a linear or thematic order Twain constructed these notes in the years before his death by dictating them to a stenographer from his bed in the mornings three hours a day nearly every day for four years straight which he found such a delightful arrangement that he decided not to give his thoughts any kind of order at all but rather ramble on about whatever struck his fancy that particular moment no matter how little it might correspond to what he was talking about the day before And pardon the trendiness of saying something like this but that really does make this book less of a biography and like the world's first blog one that had maybe a dozen real time readers back when he was first writing it and especially when you add the literal clipped newspaper articles that Twain included in these transcripts to further illustrate whatever little topic he was talking about that day In fact Twain addresses this very issue in a highly meta way spending several days discussing the tiny little scandal that was rocking the nation that week some middle class mom accidentally getting snubbed at some White House event then musing on whether anyone was going to remember this incident even a decade from then much less the high future of the early 2000s he was envisioning when writing itAnd that's really the third important thing to understand about this book that despite the salacious reports from a contemporary media industry desperate to prove its own relevance there's not really anything in Twain's autobiography that's going to come as a big shock with his hundred year delay done mostly to protect the feelings of little nobodies who Twain was angry at in his grumpy old age such as the chapter on the horrible Italian woman who once rented his family a run down house one summer I mean yes Twain definitely unloads at various points on famous peers like say Jay Gould banking magnate and the ninth richest man on the planet at his death; but Gould was one of the most hated men in the country by that point the exact kind of tycoon that Twain skewered in his vicious The Gilded Age so it comes as no surprise that he would dump on him in his secret memoirs as well Now add a scholarly 60 page introduction to the entire thing plus a copy of all the failed attempts Twain made at this autobiography in the years before this dictation process and you uickly realize that the meat of this volume really only lays in a 300 page section right in the middle of it a much manageable challenge than what this doorstop of a book suggestsBut still there's plenty of interesting things to read about in that 300 page core including lots of stories about his childhood in rural Missouri and how they relate to his fictional books about that period; lots of invective against the various schemers dreamers and other inventors who essentially bankrupted Twain several times over the course of his life; plenty of anecdotes about contemporaries like US Grant Booker Washington and Grover Cleveland; plenty of stories about family life the ins and outs of marriage and fatherhood and the various places they all lived over the decades; and on and on like this most delivered in the same trademark style that make his public books so loved as well a combination of optimism and fatalism that Twain was a master of spinning and twisting so much that you find yourself eventually laughing out loud from its sheer pathos And that frankly may be Twain's best and last laugh of all that he would have the balls to assume that these digressions would be such a hot item even a century after his death and the talent to prove himself right It was a fine read that I'm glad I took on one I'd recommend to others although only to those who already know a bit about his life and works; and I have to say that I'm now eagerly looking forward to the other two volumes in this series hitting stores slowly over the next five to six yearsOut of 10 93


  9. says:

    Twain reuested that his publisher wait 100 years after his death to publish his Autobiography because he wanted to vent about some of the people he knew in his lifetime but didn't necessarily want to instigate libel suites So I was ready for some classic vintage Twain and as soon as I was aware of the book I ordered itWell after slogging my way through most of it I can say that for me there is a lot of auto and not a lot of biography in the book Twain is unable to write anything without injecting a humorous observation or two into the mix and this he does with alacrity And for the most part I enjoyed reading his comments and observations But when he spends about 50 pages going on about the villa he rented in Italy and how disappointing it was maybe because of things not having to do with the villa at all he started losing meThe editors did an outstanding job of pulling his writings into a form that makes sense and added notes where the notes would add needed clarification I found the notes helpful in understanding what Twain was going on about at timesWhile I can't say I really enjoyed the 967 page book I think I did come away with a better appreciation for Samuel Clemens He lived in an exciting time in American History and seems to have met most of the important people who shared this time with him His descriptions of the people he knew reveals him to have been uite a humanist even though he couldn't resist taking a few humorous shots at nearly everyone he talks about in the book His world was filled with opportunists scam artists adventurers near do wells as well as the famous and well educated To be a successful author in his time a writer needed to be 90% shrewd businessman and 10% author Twain was certainly that although he reveals himself to be an overly optimistic speculator himselfOverall I think if you have read Twain's classic novels and enjoyed them you will probably also enjoy this Autobiography It is after all classic Twain


  10. says:

    WOW This volume is a wonder For one thing it provides something like a mystery novel perspective on the archeology of Samuel Clemens'Mark Twain's autobiography He wrote fragments to be part of this document over a period of four decades Simply getting a sense of the architecture for this work desired by Twain is a contribution of this workAlso Twain notes that he is unable to be consistently honest about his life Nice candor He demanded that his version not be published until 100 years after hsi death Figuring out exactly what his version was represents a major effort by the editor and others involved in this projectBut it is the end result presented by the editor Harriet Elinor Smith that makes this volume so important Twain comes across as cantankerous humorous politically savvy Early on he makes comments about slavery His acerbic commentaries on friends and family show a real edge to his writingI find this a remarkable work providing a view of Twain that is hardly candy coated but yet seemingly gives us insights into his nature life and his genius Well worth looking at