Wrap your heads around this.
Before there was Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com, there was just authors and their publishers, attempting to figure out ways to sell books to the masses on their own merit. Mark Twain had proven that he was ahead of his time as an author time and time again, but now it seems he was ahead of his time as a marketer as well.
Legend has it that Mark Twain sat down to write his autobiography over 100 years ago and before he died, he asked that his life story not be published until he has dead 100 years. We've now reached that point and literary fans are finally getting their hands on the first volume (of three) of the long-anticipated behind-the-man story never told.
What makes this so unique is not only the fact that it is the story of Mark Twain as told by Mark Twain, but there is reportedly stories of his life never been told before - scandalous ones that publishers years ago wouldn't have dreamed of publishing.
Here's a few excerpts from the book, just to intrigue you a bit:
On Not Sweating The Small Fries
"This book is not a revenge-record. When I build a fire under a person in it, I do not do it merely because of the enjoyment I get out of seeing him fry, but because he is worth the trouble. It is then a compliment, a distinction; let him give thanks and keep quiet. I do not fry the small, the commonplace, the unworthy."
On His Autobiography Plan
"It is a system which is a complete and purposed jumble — a course which begins nowhere, follows no specific route, and can never reach an end while I am alive, for the reason that if I should talk to the stenographer two hours a day for a hundred years, I should still never be able to set down a tenth part of the things which have interested me in my lifetime."
On Forming An Opinion
"In the matter of slavish imitation, man is the monkey's superior all the time. The average man is destitute of independence of opinion. He is not interested in contriving an opinion of his own, by study and reflection, but is only anxious to find out what his neighbor's opinion is and slavishly adopt it."
"It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden. Meantime, I seem to have been drifting into criticism myself. But that is nothing. At the worst, criticism is nothing more than a crime, and I am not unused to that."
Think U might give it a read?