Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Old's Cool 

Wednesday, Mar 23 2011
When volume one of Autobiography of Mark Twain hit stores last year, it seemed like half of America found a Christmas gift for their parents. Never mind that most of it had been released before -- the unexpurgated edition included all the stuff Twain instructed his heirs to leave out until 100 years after his death, feeling it too tangy for 1900s consumption. In Twain's words: "All sound and sane expressions of opinion must be left out. There may be a market for that kind of wares a century from now. There is no hurry. Wait and see.” Well, the wait is over, and the market is huge, especially due to early reviews that had Twain railing against Wall Street and calling American soldiers "uniformed assassins." True, Garrison Keillor demolished the book in the New York Times, calling it a "fraud" and a "dreary meander of a memoir," and likened reading it to hiking "across the hard, dusty ground of a famous man’s reminiscences," but that only makes us think, Hey, what's going on with Keillor? Though maybe it's also why our parents have yet to comment on our thoughtful gift. It also makes us think we might not have to read the entire behemoth ourselves, and that An Evening of Mark Twain with Benjamin Griffin is the compromise we're waiting for. As one of the editors of the book, Griffin had one of the most satisfying jobs in letters: restoring the full measure of piss and vinegar to the most iconic voice in American literature -- which may go on long at times, it must be said.
Thu., March 24, 7 p.m., 2011

About The Author

Michael Leaverton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"