Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Voices from the Past

Suddenly, two authors long deceased are speaking to us again.

After 100 years of simmering, the first volume of Mark Twain's unexpurgated autobiography is about to be published. "Versions of the autobiography have been published before, in 1924, 1940 and 1959. But the original editor, Albert Bigelow Paine, was a stickler for propriety, cutting entire sections he thought offensive; his successors imposed a chronological cradle-to-grave narrative that Twain had specifically rejected, altered his distinctive punctuation, struck additional material they considered uninteresting and generally bowed to the desire of Twain’s daughter Clara, who died in 1962, to protect her father’s image," says the article in the New York Times.

In the late 1950s, English students at the University of Virginia were treated to a series of lectures by William Faulkner, then writer-in-residence. These lectures were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes that have since been digitized & published online. Check the UVA website's "Faulkner in Virginia" to listen to Faulkner lecturing & taking questions from students.

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