Mark Twain's Scrapbook Innovations

Ellen Gruber Garvey

in Writing with Scissors

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390346
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979240 | DOI:
Mark Twain's Scrapbook Innovations

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Mark Twain kept scrapbooks for various purposes, mocked scrapbook keepers in his writing, and invented a new type of scrapbook; he also altered and innovated the language for talking and writing about scrapbooks. This chapter shows that Twain's ambivalent relation to recirculation was tightly bound to the scrapbook he invented, which invited its buyers to write a book with his name on it, wielding their own scissors. The relationship of authorship to writing with scissors is complicated. Twain used the circuits of reprinting and recirculation to promote his scrapbook, while he undertook various frustrating attempts to protect his intellectual property from reprinting, including battling Will M. Clemens, a “maggot” who fed on his work.

Keywords: recirculation; scrapbooks; authorship; reprinting; intellectual property; scrapbooking

Chapter.  10653 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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