Samuel Clemens

A Good Joke Spoiled
June 23, 2011

Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1By Mark Twain Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith (University of California Press, 736 pp., $34.95) It is hard to think of another writer as great as Mark Twain who did so many things that even merely good writers are not supposed to do. Great writers are not meant to write bad books, much less publish them. Twain not only published a lot of bad books, he doesn’t appear to have noticed the difference between his good ones and his bad ones. Great writers are not meant to care more about money than art.