‘Scrawled in the Margins, Signs of Twain as a Critic’

As a would-be literary critic and general book nerd, I’m always interested in the marginalia of famous literary figures. It’s one thing to read their criticism and reviews, but marginalia feels like an insight into their raw reflexive thought process. It’s also because I spend so much time hunched over books with a pen in my hand that this feels so relevant.

He was less well-known, but no less talented, as a literary critic. Proof of it has resided, mostly unnoticed, in a small library in Redding, Conn., where hundreds of his personal books have sat in obscurity for 100 years. They are filled with notes in his own cramped, scratchy handwriting. Irrepressible when he spotted something he did not like, but also impatient with good books that he thought could be better, he was often savage in his commentary.


See Twain’s notes here


~ by miyagisan on April 19, 2010.

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