Stewart’s article is fraught with errors and invalid assumptions. Most obviously, his distance, terrain description and final location do not agree with the Roughing It account and related letters. He also conflicts with Twain contemporary and biographer George Wharton James on the location of the timber claim. I am ready to debate Stewart anytime, anyplace. I am preparing a point-by-point analysis that will show these and other discrepancies and will seek to present this to the Nevada Historical Society. It’s worthwhile to note that when I confronted Stewart with my criticisms he had no reply other than to say, “we just disagree.” A documentary filmmaker has reviewed both accounts and choose mine for their upcoming Twain documentary. Finally, my paper was peer reviewed by Twain scholars in 2005 at Fifth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies.Strong words from a man who is obviously passionate about his own evidence. Thanks to Mr. Antonucci for allowing me to reprint his words, and I hope he and Mr. Stewart will be able to air out their differences in the near future.
Monday, October 20, 2008
EXCLUSIVE: Twain Scholar Responds to Controversial Nevada Findings
My last post concerned the recent report by Robert Stewart that would seem to indicate Mark Twain did a lot of embellishing in his autobiography and in Roughing It when it came to describing his early travels in Nevada. Last night I received a correspondence from David Antonucci, author of the conflicting report which ran alongside Stewart's findings. Here's what Mr. Antonucci had to say: