9780299125448 / 0299125440

Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review (Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography)


Publisher:University of Wisconsin Press



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About the book:

I intend that this autobiography . . . shall be read and admired a good many centuries because of its form and methoda form and method whereby the past and the present are constantly brought face to face, resulting in contrasts which newly fire up the interest all along, like contact of flint with steel.

Thus Mark Twain began the first of the twenty-five Chapters from My Autobiography published in the North American Review 19061907. Those chapters contain a unified account of Twain's life recorded in his own unmistakable voice; in them we read his life's story as he intended it to be read and savored.
    More than just the story of a literary career, Mark Twains Own Autobiography is securely anchored in the writers relation to his family. His memories of his beloved wife Livy and daughter Susywhat they meant to him as a husband, a father, and an artistconstitute a poignant self-portrait. At the same time, this text draws on Twains immense autobiographical writings for some of his best comic anecdotes, such as those that recall his rambunctious boyhood in Hannibal, his misadventures in the Nevada territory, and his notorious Whittier birthday speech.
    Mark Twains Own Autobiography stands as the last of Twains great yarns. Here he tells his story in his own way, freely expressing his joys and sorrows, his affections and hatreds, his rages and reverenceending, as always, tongue-in-cheek: Now, then, that is the tale. Some of it is true.

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