The Autobiography of Mark Twain Essay

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Poquette has a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. In the following essay, Poquette proposes a model for divining the truth in Twain's autobiography.

How does one go about reading The Autobiography of Mark Twain? Noted by generations of critics and readers alike for its sprawling collection of experiences that lack an obvious structure, the work has also been studied with a historical microscope to determine what facts hold up under inspection.

Indeed, even while the bulk of the material was being dictated to Albert Bigelow Paine, the biographer himself had doubts as to its authenticity. As Michael Kiskis notes in his article, "Mark Twain and Collaborative Autobiography," "Paine came to believe that the material was infected by dramatization, a belief that drove a wedge between his work as biographer and Clemens's as autobiographer."

To some extent, this should have been expected, given Twain's...

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This section contains 1,563 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Autobiography of Mark Twain Study Guide
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