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Posts tagged Mark Twain

In dismissing Amazon’s Orwell quotation, Laura Miller misinterprets Orwell herself
August 26, 2014 | 9:15 pm

There she goes again. Salon’s Laura Miller has penned the latest in a series of tirades against Amazon, this one summing up the squabble thus far and taking issue with Amazon’s quotation of Orwell’s discussion of paperbacks in its “Readers United” letter explaining that lower prices were good for everyone. We’ve already discussed Miller’s biases in some of the links above, but the most interesting thing has to do with her understanding (or lack thereof) of the Orwell quotation. Miller writes: To top it all off this month, the retailer posted an open...

Time will create authorial greatness in the e-book era
February 24, 2013 | 12:54 pm

e-booksLove or hate e-books, so many people at least have an opinion on the topic. Rich Adin at the blog An American Editor writes, "Are eBooks the Death Knell of Authorial Greatness?" Adin is an e-book reader, but he seems worried that authors may never be considered great again because of the physical absence of books. "Part of the problem, I think, is that recalling my library books involves a visual scan of its shelves, something that is easy to do with shelves of hardcover books staring at me and difficult to do with e-books because that casual eyescan is not as readily accomplished. This...

The Mark Twain Papers and Project – “virtually every document in Mark Twain’s hand known to survive”
June 15, 2011 | 12:51 pm

Portrait of Mark TwainFrom the About the Archive page: The Mark Twain Papers contain the private papers of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) that he himself segregated and made available to his official biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine. From Paine's death in 1937 until 1979, they were under the care of four successive editors who were also literary executors for Clemens's estate: Bernard DeVoto at the Houghton Library of Harvard University, Dixon Wecter at the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and later here at Berkeley, followed in turn by Henry Nash Smith and Frederick Anderson, both at Berkeley. This basic core of...

How did Mark Twain really feel about perpetual copyright?
January 9, 2011 | 4:15 am

I’ve often mentioned that Mark Twain was a supporter of perpetual copyright, but it occurred to me that in a sense I’ve not been living up to the dictates of the state we share. I’d been taking an out of context quote’s word for it, rather than insisting that you have to “show me”. And when I went and looked at the text of the actual speech, it seemed to me that with Twain’s gift for biting sarcasm, it was hard to tell whether his zeal for perpetual copyright was serious or sarcastic. So I posted a question on...

Mark Twain scholar removes n-word from Huckleberry Finn
January 5, 2011 | 9:15 am

Only a few short months after Mark Twain’s autobiography began to be published in full for the first time (and became an unexpected best-seller), one of the most famous controversies spawned by his most well-known book is also being revisited. Twain scholar Alan Gribben is producing an expurgated version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn with offensive words such as “nigger” and “Injun” replaced by less offensive alternatives. Gribben explained that he felt people (including his own daughter) were being too offended by the use of these words to be able to enjoy the books. ...

Mark Twain autobiography selling faster than publisher can print it
November 22, 2010 | 4:17 am

Remember that Mark Twain autobiography, allowed to be published in full only a century after Samuel Clemens’s death? The New York Times reports that it’s turning into a surprise runaway bestseller—the publisher can’t print the books fast enough to keep up with the demand. It originally thought a run of 7,500 copies would be sufficient—after all, who besides scholars would want “a $35, four-pound, 500,000-word doorstopper of a memoir”?—but has printed 275,000 so far and is still not meeting holiday season demand. “It’s frustrating,” said Rona Brinlee, the owner of the BookMark in Neptune Beach, Fla....

Posthumous Mark Twain autobiography raises copyright question, is free to read on-line
October 23, 2010 | 2:35 am

clemens_1871_thumb[1] Mike Masnick at Techdirt has a post considering the possible copyright status of the new three-volume Mark Twain autobiography that is being published in its entirety and as Twain originally intended for the first time, a century after his death. Masnick finds the overall copyright claim that the Mark Twain foundation puts on it to be misleading, because the portions of it that have never before been published, as well as the portions that were published before 1923 and any portions published between 1923 and 1963 on which copyright was not renewed, ought to be in the public...

Mark Twain’s autobiography to be published in full, 100 years after his death
May 24, 2010 | 7:15 am

Samuel Clemens circa 1871, by Matthew Brady Just over 100 years ago, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, passed away as Halley’s Comet passed in the sky. He left behind him a 500,000-word autobiographical manuscript, under strict instructions that it was not to be published until at least one hundred years after his death. As to why such a long delay, it’s not entirely clear. Perhaps he wanted to avoid embarrassing friends, or near descendents of friends, with some of the harsh things he had to say. Perhaps the controversial Clemens simply enjoyed the knowledge that, a century after he had passed on,...