Twain As A “Marginal” Literary Critic

Yesterday I mentioned Mark Twain as poet. Even more than a poet, Twain was a literary critic. The New York Times has a nice piece by Alison Leigh Cowan, “Scrawled in the Margins, Signs of Twain as a Critic.” Kevin Mc Donnell, a rare book collector, told Cowan, “Twain could just lacerate a book.” He “would also correct a book if he thought it was a gem.” “I wouldn’t be surprised if he corrected the Bible and Shakespeare.” Of course, in the case of the Bible we know that the did.
The article also has a link to a nice collection of Twain’s marginal comments, 118 pages of them, from various books in Twain’s library. Check it out. Great stuff.

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