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Mark Twain, Mark Twain, 0817315225, 0-8173-1522-5, 978-0-8173-1522-1, 9780817315221, , , Mark Twain, 0817315764, 0-8173-1576-4, 978-0-8173-1576-4, 9780817315764,

Mark Twain
The Complete Interviews

Trade Cloth
2006. 768 pp.
978-0-8173-1522-1
Price:  $74.95 s
E Book
2009. 768 pp.
978-0-8173-1576-4
Price:  $74.95 d

The great writer’s irascible wit shines in this comprehensive collection.
 
This volume is an annotated and indexed scholarly edition of every known interview with Mark Twain spanning his entire career. In these interviews, Twain discusses such topical issues as his lecture style, his writings, and his bankruptcy, while holding forth on such timeless issues as human nature, politics, war and peace, government corruption, humor, race relations, imperialism, international copyright, the elite, and his impressions of other writers (Howells, Gorky, George Bernard Shaw, Tennyson, Longfellow, Kipling, Hawthorne, Dickens, Bret Harte, among others).
 
These interviews are both oral performances in their own right and a new basis for evaluating contemporary responses to Twain’s writings. Some of the parameters Gary Scharnhorst has followed in assembling the collection is to omit self-interviews, humorous sketches written by Twain in interview form, interviews judged by Twain scholars to be spurious, purported interviews that contain no direct quotations, and interviews that exist only in versions translated from the English, as there is no way to verify the accuracy of their retranslations back into English. Because the interviews are records of verbal conversations rather than texts written in Twain’s hand, Scharnhorst has corrected errors in spelling and regularized punctuation. Four interviews here are new to scholarship; fewer than a fifth have ever been reprinted. 
 
Because Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews makes accessible, in one volume, source documents of immeasurable value to understanding one of America’s most consequential writers, it will be valued by both academic and public libraries, Twain scholars and enthusiasts, and general readers of humor.
 
 

Gary Scharnhorst is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of New Mexico. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and editor of the journal American Literary Realism.

"Like Theodore Dreiser: Interviews, ed. by Frederic Rusch and Donald Pizer (CH, Jun'05, 42-5739), this book provides vivid biographical data with an immediacy that brings to life everything from Mark Twain's personal idiosyncrasies and mannerisms to his central ideas on life and literature. An international celebrity and inveterate traveler, Twain reflected on the social and cultural mores of five continents. He responded to questions, often with his inimitable phrasing, about the leading political, financial, and artistic figures of his day. Scharnhorst (Univ. of New Mexico) wisely presents the pieces, which date from 1871 to 1910, in chronological order, regularizing spelling and punctuation. Annotations aid readers lacking a specialist's knowledge of the historical and biographical references in the interviews. In notes, the editor supplements Twain's interview comments with versions published in other journals. This lengthy edition would have profited from more condensation than it in fact received. Because it includes numerous extraordinary interviews, fewer selections that repeat Twain's pat routines (on subjects ranging from his ideas about international copyrights to his smoking habits) would have made the volume as friendly for the general reader as for the scholar. Nevertheless, in small doses the material will delight and enlighten anyone interested in Mark Twain. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty; general readers."
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Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews goes a long way in recovering that side of the writer that has largely been lost to us. This is a major contribution to Twain scholarship and Scharnhorst’s introduction is a model of clarity and precision.”—Tom Quirk, editor of The Portable Mark Twain

“Next to Mark Twain’s letters, the interviews with him constitute the most important body of texts that still have not come fully into print. We get in this book an entirely fresh, distinctive, informative body of autobiographical commentary; we also get a kind of running performance as Twain interacts with and postures for reporters (and their readers!), and continually reframes his public persona.”—Louis J. Budd, author of Our Mark Twain  

Also of Interest

Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism
Jeffrey Alan Melton


Mainly the Truth
Edited by Gary Scharnhorst


Mark Twain and Orion Clemens
by Philip Ashley Fanning


Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age
Harold K. Bush