Steven Peterson's Reviews > Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain
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's review
Oct 21, 10

it was amazing

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 work.

Also, 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 He demanded that his version not be published until 100 years after hsi death.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 project.

But 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 writing.

I 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. . . .
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message 1: by Dman (new)

Dman Another review indicated that this (as all previous) autobiographies omits sections of the full original writing due to editorial censorship by his descendants. If so, why bother?

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