"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Book Examines Clemens' Years as a "Journalist"

It was during his time writing for the Virginia City newspaper the Territorial Enterprise during the 1860s that Samuel Clemens transformed on the printed page into Mark Twain. The young upstart cut his teeth writing satirical and often outrageous parodies of real-life news in the mining town, and its that writing which University of Hawaii English professor James E. Caron looks at in his new study, Mark Twain: Unsanctified Newspaper Reporter.

Brian Burnes of the McClatchy Newspapers has written up an interesting review of the book, explaining that although it is clearly a scholarly work and not as populist as Ron Powers acclaimed 2005 biography, it admirably does the job of painting the picture of Sam Clemens finding his literary voice.

Twain wrote for the Nevada Territory paper beginning in 1862, and didn't achieve major success as a published author until The Innocents Abroad ion 1869--providing Caron with a long stretch of fertile ground to cover.

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