Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

HARRIET ELINOR SMITH EDITOR
Benjamin Griffin
Victor Fischer
Michael B. Frank
Sharon K. Goetz
Leslie Diane Myrick
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 760
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnmz9
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  • Book Info
    Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1
    Book 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 The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind."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

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94699-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-xii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  3. LIST OF MANUSCRIPTS AND DICTATIONS
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-58)
    Harriet Elinor Smith

    Between 1870 and 1905 Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) tried repeatedly, and at long intervals, to write (or dictate) his autobiography, always shelving the manuscript before he had made much progress. By 1905 he had accumulated some thirty or forty of these false starts—manuscripts that were essentially experiments, drafts of episodes and chapters; many of these have survived in the Mark Twain Papers and two other libraries. To some of these manuscripts he went so far as to assign chapter numbers that placed them early or late in a narrative which he never filled in, let alone completed. None...

  6. PRELIMINARY MANUSCRIPTS AND DICTATIONS, 1870–1905
    (pp. 59-200)

    The monster tract of land which our family own in Tennessee, was purchased by my father a little over forty years ago. He bought the enormous area of seventy-five thousand acres at one purchase. The entire lot must have cost him somewhere in the neighborhood of four hundred dollars. That was a good deal of money to pass over at one payment in those days—at least it was so considered away up there in the pineries and the “Knobs” of the Cumberland Mountains of Fentress county, East Tennessee. When my father paid down that great sum, and turned and...

  7. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN
    (pp. 201-468)

    The chapters which immediately follow constitute a fragment of one of my many attempts (after I was in my forties) to put my life on paper.

    It starts out with good confidence, but suffers the fate of its brethren—is presently abandoned for some other and newer interest. This is not to be wondered at, for its plan is the old, old, old unflexible and difficult one—the plan that starts you at the cradle and drives you straight for the grave, with no side-excursions permitted on the way. Whereas the side-excursions are the life of our life-voyage, and should...

  8. Photographs
    (pp. None)
  9. EXPLANATORY NOTES
    (pp. 469-650)
  10. APPENDIXES
    (pp. 651-668)
  11. NOTE ON THE TEXT
    (pp. 669-679)
  12. WORD DIVISION IN THIS VOLUME
    (pp. 680-680)
  13. REFERENCES
    (pp. 681-712)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 713-736)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 737-738)