The Los Angeles Times has an abnormally interesting article on the editors of the Autobiography of Mark Twain.
Thrust into a publishing success about which other academics can only fantasize, Smith and her colleagues at UC Berkeley’s Mark Twain Papers & Project have become celebrities in the rarefied world of literary research and editing.
But like rock stars with a first hit record, they are coping now with hugely elevated expectations for the autobiography’s next two volumes, which will bring the much-loved author’s complete dictated memoir to print for the first time. And they worry about all the work ahead if they are to meet deadlines of 2012 and 2014.
“It’s very strange and it’s quite uncomfortable at times,” Smith [Harriet Elinor Smith, lead editor] said of the shift from a scholarly but small audience for the Twain center’s previous books to the runaway success now.
If you want to know more of the inside workings of the editorial process and what its like to go, almost overnight, from an obscure student of Twain manuscripts to a celebrity, this story is for you.