Thursday, July 08, 2010

Mark Twain's Autobiography will piss some people off



Ed here: Twain was adamant about his autobiography--it wasn't to be published until one hundred years after his death. The Huffington Post explains why.


Huffington:

Mark Twain's autobiography will be published this November, 100 years after his death, per Twain's own dying wishes. A fear of being shunned for the shocking and controversial opinions that he voices in the document left Twain unwilling to release his autobiography until long after his death, but the time has come to unveil Twain's revelations about his own life. The documents, which have been housed at UC Berkeley for decades, were long considered unfinished, but after six years, scholars have been able to piece the autobiography together to reveal a fully-formed book.

The book contains some shocking opinions which would have been extremely controversial in Twain's day, including a criticism of Christianity -- "Ours is a terrible religion" -- and of Teddy Roosevelt. It also reveals Twain's insights into his own writing process, such as a description of how he overcame writer's block while writing "Tom Sawyer."

The autobiography will be published in three volumes, the first of which will hit the shelves in November.

7 comments:

Jeff Pert said...

I'm confused. So what's the autobiography that's been out for ages?

Ed Gorman said...

Good question.

Fred Blosser said...

From a college lit course dimly remembered: there were incomplete editions of the AUTOBIOGRAPHY in the '20s and '50s by different editors, using only portions of the full Twain manuscript or manuscripts. Looks like the forthcoming edition will be the complete text, including some stuff about religion left out of the earlier versions. I believe Twain expressly asked that some of the material not be published until a century after his death. Man, I wish Twain were alive to write about the current political and social scene.

Evan Lewis said...

I remember enjoying one of those early editions, plus other more or less suppressed Twain manuscripts a long time back. This new edition will be a must-read, no doubt prompting another go-round with my favorite Twain masterpiece, Roughing It.

Ron Scheer said...

There was an entire "dark" side of Twain that deepened, if I'm right, as he grew older and suffered personal losses. I've also come across references to a really bawdy side that wouldn't have gone down well amongst the general public in 1910.

David Cranmer said...

I'm very interested in reading his bio.

Thanks Ed, I didn't know of this.

Jennifer X said...

I can't wait for this to come out.