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The Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Six years after Mark Twain's death, Albert Bigelow Paine, the author's literary executor, brought out a bowdlerized edition of The Mysterious Stranger, which he patched together from Mark Twain's three unfinished manuscripts, produced, Paine asserted, during a period of supposed creative paralysis. Scholars have since discovered that Paine's edition of the book was largely based on the earliest of those three versions, onto which Paine then grafted the final chapter of the last version. Indeed, Paine changed so many of the book's essentials that it cannot be said to accurately reflect the author's mood and thought at all.

Gibson's volume, first published in 1969 and now back in print, presented the manuscripts for the first time exactly as Mark Twain wrote them. Here the reader is offered a glimpse of Mark Twain's creative process on what many critics consider the finest fiction of his later years. While the work was begun in 1897 and revised first in 1902 and then in 1908, the third version was the only manuscript actually titled The Mysterious Stranger. These texts provide a rare opportunity to observe Mark Twain's sustained literary struggle with a central theme.


Here back in a paperback edition are the complete set of manuscripts left by Twain, which after his death would be assembled into a bowdlerized version and published as The Mysterious Stranger.

About the Author

William M. Gibson was Professor of English at New York University.

Product Details

Gibson, William M.
University of California Press
Gibson, William M.
Twain, Mark
Gibson, William M.
American - General
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.25 x 1.25 in 1.02 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts Used Trade Paper
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Product details 493 pages University of California Press - English 9780520246959 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Here back in a paperback edition are the complete set of manuscripts left by Twain, which after his death would be assembled into a bowdlerized version and published as The Mysterious Stranger.
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