Monday, May 24, 2010

How Did I Miss This?!

Interrupting the reruns to celebrate the best literary news I've heard in a long time: the autobiography of Mark Twain is about to be published 100 years after his death, as directed in his will. I love Twain's work, consider myself a fan, but never heard of this autobiography (except as a failed project) or his strange stipulation. Apparently he wanted to speak his mind without hurting anyone's feelings or sullying his reputation. According to this article, while scholars have had access to the work and bits have been published before, more than half of the 5000 pages have never seen print.

I'll anticipate this eagerly. Will Twain, the quintessential American writer, delve into politics, race, art, literature? Will his frank opinions seem enlighted beyond their years or relics of old prejudices? Or, as some speculate, will they just be the bitter ramblings of an angry, dying old man?

Regardless, I love the idea of Twain becoming a literary celebrity in the 21st century, just as he was in the 19th and 20th. At this writing, pre-orders on Amazon have boosted the book's rank to #368 (that's high!), and it's not out until November. What a kick it would be to see the name "Twain" sitting atop the bestseller lists in 2010-2011.

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