May 13-14, 2005
Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mark Twain’s Adventures Out West

Through songs and monologues Jim Post interprets Mark Twain’s life and writing during his travels West. Drawn in part from the book Roughing It, Post’s original one-man show recounts Twain’s 1862 trip into the untamed American West. The portrayal shows Twain not only as a profound and caustic thinker, but a global charmer and influence peddler. Jim Post’s performance has been lauded by theChicago Tribune for “stay[ing] away from the usual sardonic characterization, offering instead a well-meaning, exuberant and flailing Twain with a clear tenor and not much irony.”

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mark Twain Roughin’ It

Lecture : Mark Twain’s San Francisco
San Francisco in 1865 was a rustic metropolis, built from a combination of wealth and rugged individualism. Bernard Taper, author of Mark Twain in San Francisco, will discuss the Barbary Coast of the 1860s and the luminaries that Twain interacted with during his time on the Bay.

Lecture: Recent Discoveries from the Archives

As the largest recipient of Twain writings from recently archived collections throughout the US, the Mark Twain Papers & Project has embarked upon the large task of examining and publishing new Twain journals. The Project’s General Editor Robert Hirst will touch upon the importance of their most recent findings.


A short collection of Twain writings from his time on the Pacific, including the famous Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, will be read by acclaimed Twain interpreter Jim Post.

Lecture: Mark Twain, the West, and the Genteel Tradition

Undoubtedly one of the most influential and outspoken writers of his, Mark Twain captured the sentiment of a new, post-Civil War nation. Gregory Camfield (University of the Pacific) will share the pivotal experiences of Mark Twain’s youth in the South and his time in Nevada, California and Hawaii and how his perspective on the national landscape influenced his later writings.

Panel Discussion

All participants join a panel discussion moderated by Robert Hirst.


Gregg Camfield, English, U of the Pacific

George Hammond, writer, Humanities West

Janet Smith Post, cello

Jim Post, Mark Twain interpreter

Forrest Robinson, American Studies, UC Santa Cruz

Resource Materials

The names of authors who are speakers at Mark Twain in the West are indicated in bold type.
Salamo, Lin, Victor Fischer, and Michael B. Frank, of the Mark Twain project, editors. Mark Twain’s Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race
University of California Press, Berkeley, 2004.
Cohen, Rachel. A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967. Random House, NY, 2004
David, Beverly R. Mark Twain and His Illustrators, I: 1869-1875. Troy, NY: Whitson Publishing Co, 1986.
Day, A. Grove (ed). Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii. New York: Appleton-Century, 1966. and/or Mark Twain in Hawaii, published by Honolulu Press.
Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections of Mark Twain and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Howells, William Dean. My Mark Twain. Originally published in 1910, newer reprints are available.
Kaplan, Fred. The Singular Mark Twain. Double Day, 2003
Kaplan, Justin. Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966.
Lorch, Fred W. The Trouble Begins at Eight: Mark Twain’s Lecture Tours. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1968.
Lyman, George D. The Saga of the Comstock Lode. Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, London, 1934
Paine, A. B. Mark Twain, a Biography. Harper & Bros.
Railton, Stephen. A Short Introduction to Mark Twain. Blackwells Publishing, 2003
Smith, Harriet Elinor and Edgar Marquess (eds.). Mark Twain’s Roughing It. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, and
Twain, Mark. Roughing It (1891)– the Authoritative Text from the Mark Twain Project. UC Press, 1996. (paperback). Harriet Elinor Smith, Edgar Marquess Branch, editors. Associate editors: Robert Pack Browning and Lin Salamo
Taper, Bernard, ed. Mark Twain’s San Francisco. Heyday Books, San Francisco, 2003.

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