It has been 100 years

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It has been 100 years, so Mark Twain’s autobiography will finally be published in its entirety:

The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.

That milestone has now been reached, and in November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography. The eventual trilogy will run to half a million words, and shed new light on the quintessentially American novelist…

“He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He’s also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there.”

In other sections of the autobiography, Twain makes cruel observations about his supposed friends, acquaintances and one of his landladies.

Cory Doctorow says, ZOMG. Want to read right now!


  1. Ross says:

    Those interested in history and (recently un-)cloaked books by the Lettered Men of Yesteryear could hardly do worse than to read Jung’s Red Book. Roughly (very) a young autobiography, it details his many visions and an Alighieriesque descent into personal demons.

    It’s important because Jung himself stated it was this period and these ideas that were the source of all his future creativity and work.

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