Vol 3 Section 0290
March 31 Friday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam began a letter to Frank Bliss, that he added to on Apr. 2. Included were notes of a biographical sketch of Clemens from which Samuel E. Moffett might write the finished article.
I want SET NO 1 of the DE LUXE edition to go to Mr. Rogers, & to be charged to me (minus agent’s commission.)
And I want the first set of the ordinary Uniform edition to go to Miss Harrison & to be charged to me… Mrs. Clemens wants some more new copyright matter added—viz., a brief biographical sketch of me. So I stopped writing this letter to jot down a skeleton for it. She wants this skeleton to be handed to my nephew Samuel E. Moffett, editor of the NewYork Journal, & she wants him to put it in his own language, & add to it
or elaborate it, according to his judgment [MTP].
April 1 Saturday – In Vienna at an unspecified banquet, Sam made four speeches [Apr. 5 to Howells].
Karl Kraus chose this day to launch Die Fackel, which Dolmetsch describes as “the most eagerly awaited, most widely read, most intently discussed periodical in the Habsburg capital if not, indeed, in the entire Germanic world” . The third edition of the red-covered magazine heaped scorn on what Kraus saw as the “continuous fawning over Mark Twain’s every movement in Vienna.” Kraus attacked the Neue Freie Presse as well as Mark Twain himself for this situation. Dolmetsch likens Kraus to H.L. Mencken as occupying a similar place in Vienna literary regard, “a supreme master of verbal subtlety and nuance.” The new magazine had long been looked forward to, and the second issue sold 30,000 copies. Did Twain and Kraus meet? Dolmetsch explores the possibilities:
What personal contact Mark Twain actually had in Vienna with Karl Kraus cannot now be ascertained. Kraus was then but twenty-five and not the kind of established writer, like Eduard Pötzl, that Twain would have sought out. The Countess Wydenbruck-Esterházy’s daughter recalled that both Twain and Kraus were among the choice circle of writers, artists, and musicians her mother cultivated, but whether these two ever visited her salon at the same time is moot. Details in “U.A.” indicate its author was present at Twain’s Concordia speech and at least one of the American humorist’s charity benefit readings in Vienna, but if Kraus took either of these occasions to be introduced to Twain, as many of his press colleagues did, he did not record the fact and neither did Twain . Note: Dolmetsch writes an entire chapter on Kraus: “Diogenes in Vienna.”
April 2 Sunday – At the Hotel Krantz in Vienna, Austria, Sam finished his Mar. 31 to Frank Bliss, noting he had finished signing the pages for the deluxe Uniform edition and would express them the following day (Apr. 3). He enclosed a letter from a man in Iowa which he thought Bliss should answer as it was out of Sam’s line. His Christian Science articles had been sent to Joe Twichell for more information and though they had been returned he wouldn’t have time to work on them for two weeks, perhaps. He would send them all when he was done, and thought they might be put in the next volume of sketches “without first appearing in a magazine.” Sam referred an unnamed “Montreal gentleman” to the public librarian of Sydney or Melbourne for information about Australia [MTP]. Note: Sam’s Apr. 25 to Chatto indicates there were 512 signed & numbered copies of the deluxe edition.
He also began a letter to Poultney Bigelow and Edith E. Bigelow, now in Devonshire, England; he added to this letter the following day, Apr. 3.
We are beginning to think a little seriously of spending the summer in England instead of in Russia, Norway and Sweden—say from the middle of July to the end of September. Now you must know England pretty well, and can tell us where to find the right kind of quiet pleasant comfortable country village. Testify—testify!
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.