“Mark Twain’s Rückreise nach der Heimath” Freie Presse für Texas. 12 Jun 1899
Mark Twain’s Rückreise nach der Heimath
Mark Twain’s return journey home
Nach mehrjährigem Aufenthalt1 wird Mark Twain Wien verlassen und sich nach den Vereinigten Staaten zurück begeben. Man schreibt aus Wien: In den nächsten Tagen wird der bekannte amerikanische Humorist Mark Twain unsere Stadt in Begleitung seiner Gattin und seiner beiden Töchter verlassen.
After a stay of several years, Mark Twain will leave Vienna and return to the United States. One writes from Vienna: In the next few days the well-known American humorist Mark Twain will leave our city accompanied by his wife and his two daughters.
Den Aufenthalt hier hatte Mark Twain, wie man weiß, mit Rücksicht auf die musikalische Ausbildung seiner begabten Tochter Miß Clara Clemens gewählt und die junge Dame oblag hier bei Leschetitzky und später bei der Sängerin Fräulein Marianne Brandt ihren Studien2.
It is known that Mark Twain had chosen to stay here for the musical education of his talented daughter, Miss Clara Clemens, and the young lady studied here with Leschetitzky and later with the singer Fräulein Marianne Brandt.
Der Aufenthalt in Wien war von vornherein auf zwei Jahre präliminirt und sollte im Herbste dieses
Jahres zu Ende gehen. Thatsächlich hatte die Familie Clemens bereits eine Sommerwohnung in der Nähe von Reichenau3 gewählt, wo der Frühling und Sommer verbracht werden sollten; allein diese Dispositionen wurden im letzten Momente geändert, da sich die Nothwendigkeit der Anwesenheit Mark
Twain‘s in London4 herausstellte. So wird Mark Twain den Hochsommer in den schottischen Hochgebirgen verbringen und sich dann im Herbst nach seinem Heimathlande Florida, das er jahrelang nicht gesehen, zurückbegeben. Einem Besucher, der ihn in seinem provisorischen Heim im „Hotel Krantz“5 mit den Vorbereitungen zur Abreise beschäftigt fand, bestätigte Mark Twain, daß ihn nur geschäftliche Verbindungen gezwungen hätten, seine Abreise zu beschleunigen.
The stay in Vienna was preliminarily scheduled for two years and was to end in fall of this year. In fact, the Clemens family had already chosen a summer residence near Reichenau, where the spring and summer were to be spent; only these dispositions were changed at the last moment, since the necessity of Mark Twain’s presence in London became apparent. Thus, Mark Twain will spend midsummer in the Scottish highlands and then in fall will return to his homeland Florida, which he has not seen for years. To a visitor who found him busy in his temporary home at the “Hotel Krantz” preparing for departure, Mark Twain confirmed that only business connections had forced him to hasten his departure.
„Ich werde auf meinen Wiener Aufenthalt immer nur mit wahrem Vergnügen zurückblicken,“ äußerte Mark Twain, „es ist eine Stadt, in der es sich so gut arbeiten läßt. Was ich gearbeitet habe? An einer Porträtgallerie, an Berichten von interessanten Leuten6, mit denen ich in meinem Leben zusammengekommen bin, von meiner Kindheit angefangen bis heute, da und dort, in der ganzen Welt …. Darunter sind Leute von allen Rangklassen und gesellschaftlichen Stellungen, wenn sie nur die eine Bedingung erfüllen, interessant zu sein. Es sind Monarchen und Fürsten darunter, aber auch Schneider und Schuhmacher, Kutscher — o, die können sehr interessant sein! dann Poeten, Advokaten, Novellisten und Humoristen — Diebe, Desperados, Fälscher, Buchdrucker und Pastoren, Piraten, Neger, Indianer,
Köche und Kellner — Historiker und Pferdeschwindler — die feine Gesellschaft, die unfeine Gesellschaft, Chinesen, Engländer, Irländer, Wiener — kurz alle Nationalitäten. Ich habe hunderte von Namen auf meiner Liste. Während des letzten Jahres meines Wiener Aufenthaltes hab‘ ich einen Band fertig geschrieben. Wien war für mich eine Fundgrube. Es ist eine herrliche Stadt, ich wiederhole es noch einmal, und hat interessante Leute; man kann keinen Stein werfen, ohne einen interessanten Menschen zum Krüppel zu machen ….
“I shall always look back on my stay in Vienna only with real pleasure,” Mark Twain expressed, “it is a city where it is so good to work. What was I working on? On a portrait gallery, on reports of interesting people who I have met in my life, from my childhood until today, here and there, all over the world …. Among them are people of all ranks and social positions, if they only fulfill the one condition of being interesting. There are monarchs and princes among them, but also tailors and shoemakers, coachmen — o, they can be very interesting! then poets, advocates, novellists and humorists — thieves, desperadoes, forgers, printers and pastors, pirates, negroes, Indians, cooks and waiters — historians and horse swindlers — the fine society, the not so fine society, Chinese, English, Irish, Viennese — in short, all nationalities. I have hundreds of names on my list. During the last year of my stay in Vienna I have finished writing a book. Vienna was a treasure trove for me. It is a splendid city, I repeat again, and has interesting people; you can’t throw a stone without crippling an interesting person ….
Und wenn ich noch einmal nach Wien komme — bei diesen Worten ergriff Mark Twain eine Tageszeitung und deutete auf einen Bericht über die letzte Sitzung des Landtages, in welchem über die Entscheidung des Verwaltungsgerichtshofes ,,debattirt“7 wurde — wenn ich noch einmal nach Wien komme, dann sind solche Dinge unmöglich. Ich habe Leute über politische Verrohung in Amerika sprechen hören. Aber es giebt keine Partei in Amerika und keinen Auswuchs einer Partei, die es wagen würde, an dem Heiligsten, was es in einem Rechtsstaate gibt, an der Achtung vor dem Richterstande, zu rütteln ….“—
And if I come to Vienna again — at these words Mark Twain grabbed a daily newspaper and pointed to a report on the last session of the parliament, in which the decision of the Administrative Court was “debated” — if I come to Vienna again, then such things are impossible. I have heard people talk about political brutalization in America. But there is no party in America and no outgrowth of a party that would dare to tamper with the most sacred thing in a constitutional state, respect for the judiciary ….”—
Mark Twain wird auf der Reise nach London an mehreren Punkten, wie Dresden und Berlin, einige Tage verweilen. In London werden zu seinem Empfang große Vorbereitungen getroffen, da man sich für die herzliche Aufnahme, die Rudyard Kipling8 in Amerika erfahren hat, zu revanchiren gedenkt.
Mark Twain will spend a few days at several points on his trip to London, such as Dresden and Berlin. In London, great preparations will be made for his reception, since one intends to return the warm exception that Rudyard Kipling experienced in America.
“Mark Twain’s Rückreise nach der Heimath.“ Freie Presse für Texas (San Antonio, Tex.), 12 Jun. 1899, p. 1, c. 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. Of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045227/1899-06-12/ed-1/seq-1/>
1 Mark Twain, accompanied by his wife Olivia and his daughters Jean and Clara, stayed in Vienna from September 27, 1897 until May 26, 1899.
2 Before coming to Vienna, Clara Clemens had already studied with different acclaimed musicians in Europe, like Helen Hope Kirk and Moritz Moszkowsky (San Francisco Call 2). Her focus at that time was still mostly on playing the piano. That is why she wanted to study with Theodor Leschetitzky (also written as Leschetzky), a famous Austrian pianist and piano teacher. In My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens explains that she had heard many stories, good and bad, about Leschetitzky and that she was intrigued to become his pupil (189). It is not clear, how Mark Twain really thought about his daughter’s musical ambitions, as he mostly talked about music in a satirical way. But on some occasions, he showed pride for his daughter (Dolmetsch 94). Nevertheless, Clara Clemens was allowed to study under Leschetitzky and the Clemens family stayed in Vienna. In summer 1898, Alice Barbi, an American singer, convinced Clara Clemens to undergo vocal lessons instead of piano lessons, after hearing her sing. So Clara Clemens ended her lessons with Leschetitzky and started to be taught by the famous singer Marianne Brandt. Clara Clemens made some attempts as a concert singer (example: The New York Times 23 September 1906), but ended her professional music career after her marriage to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, a student of Leschetitzky (Dolmetsch 106). || Sources: Clemens, Clara. My Father Mark Twain. Harper Brothers Publishers, 1931 (Internet Archive); Dolmetsch, Carl. Our Famous Guest: Mark Twain in Vienna. University of Georgia Press, 1992 (Internet Archive); “Twain’s Talented Daughter will be Professional Singer.” The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, Calif.), 9 Nov. 1900, p. 2, c. 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. Of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1900-11-09/ed-1/seq-2/.
3 Reichenau an der Rax is a little town with healing climate near the Alps. See the town’s website.
4 In 1899, Mark Twain started his plans to publish a deluxe edition of his works. Parallel to an American edition published by the American Publishing Company, a British edition was to be released in 1899 by Chatto and Windus called The Writings of Mark Twain De Luxe Edition. The collection consisted of 22 volumes; 1903 a 23rd volume was added to spark sales again and 1906/07 two more volumes were added by Harper and Brothers. All books were bound in green cloth (like the American edition) and included the Mark Twain watermark, Mark Twain’s autograph in the first volume and a special title page designed by Tiffany and Company. Additionally, some sets also contained original manuscripts and letters. Those sets are believed to be special orders (Schmidt). Originally, 1000 sets were planned to be released, but due to bad sales prospects Andrew Chatto only requested 620 copies (Welland 199). In the end, only 250 copies were produced. By 1906, Chatto still had eight sets of the deluxe edition and 65 copies of volume 23 left (Schmidt). While planning this edition, Mark Twain saw a high value in it. He placed this value mostly on the limited number of sets, as he said that he does not actually expect anybody to read this edition. Mark Twain said in an interview: “There’s some human instinct which makes a man treasure what he is not to make any use of, because everybody does not possess it” (Scharnhorst 335). When the deluxe edition was released, it was sold for $50 per set. Today, The Writings of Mark Twain De Luxe Edition is sold for thousands of dollars (set no. 37, missing two volumes, $10000; or set no. 26, in new binding, $9000). || Sources: Scharnhorst, Gary (ed.). Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews. University of Alabama Press, 2006 (Google Books); Schmidt, Barbara. “A History of and Guide to Uniform Editions of Mark Twain’s Works” Twainquotes, www.twainquotes.com/UniformEds/UniformEdsCh4-c.html. Accessed 26 March 2021; Welland, Dennis. Mark Twain in England. Chatto and Windus, 1978.
5 June 1945, the luxury hotel was renamed to Hotel Ambassador. More information about the history of the hotel provides the hotel’s website.
6 This book announcement was a joke made by Mark Twain in his last week in Vienna and everybody believed it. In another interview with Dr. Johannes Horowitz, correspondent for the New York Times, Mark Twain further extended his joke by explaining that his book will not be published until 100 years after his death, because this way he does not have to consider offending anyone (Scharnhorst 128 f.). The Viennese people were very concerned, fearing what the usually outspoken Mark Twain has to say about them. This joke resulted in a quite negative press reaction (example: Reichspost 26 May 1899). A few days later, Mark Twain felt obligated to clarify his joke through his friend and journalist Eduard Pötzl (Neues Wiener Tageblatt 27 May 1899). The reason for this joke, as Carl Dolmetsch concludes, was to draw attention to his actual works written during his time in Vienna (311). || Sources: Dolmetsch, Carl. Our Famous Guest: Mark Twain in Vienna. University of Georgia Press, 1992 (Internet Archive); Scharnhorst, Gary (ed.). Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews. University of Alabama Press, 2006 (Google Books).
7 Shortly after arriving in Vienna, Mark Twain started to take an interest in the local politics. On October 28, 1897, he attended a sitting of the Austrian-Hungarian parliament for the first time. He describes it in great detail in his essay Stirring Times in Austria, first published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in March 1898. Mark Twain writes that the sitting was constantly disrupted by heckling of the politicians (213). Curses and threats were made against the speaker (215). Everybody had wooden planks that they banged on their desk to make loud noises (216). Many sittings of the parliament went like this, making a normal debate nearly impossible. || Sources: Twain, Mark. “Stirring Times in Austria” How to tell a Story and other Essays. Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1900. pp. 200-249 (Internet Archive).
8 Rudyard Joseph Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, but grew up in England. He is best known for his novels The Jungle Book (1894, 1895) and Kim (1901). In 1907. He received an honorary degree from Oxford, like Mark Twain in the same year, and at the end of the year he was awarded with the Nobel Prize for literature (Pinney). Kipling was a fan of Mark Twain’s works, that is why in 1889 he went to visit Twain in Elmira, NY. In a travel book, Kipling wrote: “I had hooked Mark Twain, and he was treating me as though under certain circumstances I might be an equal” (Kipling 186). Interestingly enough, Mark Twain only found out until a year later that Kipling was a to be celebrity. After that initial meeting, Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling continued to exchange letters and met on several occasions throughout their lives (Baetzhold 432). Additionally, both authors inspired each other in their writings. To learn more about that look at Leland Krauth’s chapter on Rudyard Kipling in Mark Twain & Company: Six Literary Relations (Google Books). || Sources: Baetzhold, Howard G. “Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard” The Mark Twain Encyclopedia, edited by J.R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993. pp. 431 ff. (Internet Archive); Kipling, Rudyard. From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches: Letters of Travel. Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, 2011 (Cambridge); Pinney, Thomas. “Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard” Oxford DNB, doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/34334. Accessed 27 March 2021.
Selection of research project:
The research process leading up to the chosen article started with looking at the available German-language newspapers on Chronicling America for my assigned time frame (1891-1900).
Using the advanced search function, the following parameters were applied:
- select year(s): 1891-1900
- language: German
- … with the words: Mark Twain
- within 5 words of each other
This search provided 241 results, the number of results for each year varying drastically with 1897 (42) and 1899 (47) as the most resourceful years and 1893 (3) as the least resourceful one. The next step was to sort through the results and disqualify those that were duplicates of other articles or those that provided not enough possibilities for annotations.
The article above was eventually chosen, because it provided an overview over a very special time period of Mark Twain’s life, his almost two-years-stay in Vienna (not including Mark Twain’s audience with emperor Francis Joseph, because that happened after this article was originally written). Even before starting the research for the annotations, it was clear that the amount of work needed to be done for this article would be a bit more than expected, simply because of the length of the article and the many different annotations. Nevertheless, this article gave me the opportunity to dive deep into many different topics connected to Mark Twain, making the amount of work worth it.
Comment, analysis, reflection:
As already mentioned, this article provides an overview of one stage of life of Mark Twain. Doing so, it shows Mark Twain in ways many people might not know him, namely more than a writer. This article shows aspects of Mark Twain being a father, moving his whole family to another country for the musical career of his daughter Claire, while still trying to provide a healthy environment for his sick daughter Jean. It also depicts Mark Twain as a person being interested in politics and documenting political history (see Stirring Times in Austria). Mark Twain’s involvement in Austrian politics might surprised a few people as well as the reactions to his involvement by some anti-Semitic newspapers. Additionally, you can see in which ways his humor was received looking at the joke about the book supposedly written in Austria. Almost half of the article is devoted to inform about this portrait gallery, clearly showing that his statement had been taken seriously. To be honest, it even took me quite some time to find out that it was a joke. So overall, this article gives a starting point to look at Mark Twain in many different ways.
Mark Twain’s time in Vienna is, of course, documented in detail in various Austrian newspapers, as reporters were very interested in Vienna’s famous guest. That is why, it is quite interesting to see which information made it all the way to America and how they were received.
Another interesting aspect concerning this article is the relationship between American German-language newspapers and Austrian newspapers. As I found out during my research, this article was copied by Freie Presse für Texas from an article printed in Neues Wiener Tageblatt (May 19, 1899) a few days before that without giving credit to the original source.
General observations about my research process:
For this project, I came in contact with many new online resources I had not encountered before. DeepL, the tool used for the translation, turned out be to be a very efficient tool for translations, even with more abstract phrasings. I hardly had to correct the initial translation made by DeepL. I will definitely remember this tool for future translations.
The starting online resource for this project was Chronicling America. It was very surprising to me how many newspapers this online archive includes and how good the quality of the scans is. In this regard, Chronicling America is definitely a very resourceful website. Another online archive for newspapers that I used was ANNO of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). It provides quite a large number of Austrian newspapers. I used both archives for the research for my annotations, mostly to see how the information I gathered before were depicted in that time. What I think is very outstanding for both archives is that they are completely accessible, no subscription needed and no access provided by the university. These two online resources as well as the Internet Archive made it possible for me to work with a huge amount of primary texts. Of course, going through all these sources and picking out what to use was a bit overwhelming. But I believe after working with these websites a bit more, it will get easier to identify useful sources.
All of the three mentioned online sources provide to search for specific words or phrases in texts. This, of course, makes it easy to skim through a text and locate necessary passages in a short time. But this function also has some problems that I noticed mostly when looking at information about Theodor Leschetitzky in Dolmetsch’s Our famous Guest. First of, there are different ways of writing Leschetitzky’s name and Dolmetsch uses all of them. This leads to one problem with the in-text search function – you have to consider different spellings and maybe even misspellings, as well as the program not being able to identify the searched word in the text. Another problem is that this way passages are ripped out of their context. This can lead to misinformation.
Through this project I worked with many new online resources and tools. It was interesting to get a look at what is available online and what is really useful for university purposes. Even so, the amount of data was at times a bit overwhelming, I really enjoyed working my way through all if it. It was definitely a good opportunity to test out new things and learn more in regards to the digital humanities.
Baetzhold, Howard G. “Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard” The Mark Twain Encyclopedia, edited by J.R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993. pp. 431 ff. (Internet Archive).
Clemens, Clara. My Father Mark Twain. Harper Brothers Publishers, 1931 (Internet Archive).
Dolmetsch, Carl. Our Famous Guest: Mark Twain in Vienna. University of Georgia Press, 1992 (Internet Archive).
Kipling, Rudyard. From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches: Letters of Travel. Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, 2011 (Cambridge).
Pinney, Thomas. “Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard” Oxford DNB, doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/34334. Accessed 27 March 2021.
Scharnhorst, Gary (ed.). Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews. University of Alabama Press, 2006 (Google Books).
Schmidt, Barbara. “A History of and Guide to Uniform Editions of Mark Twain’s Works” Twainquotes, www.twainquotes.com/UniformEds/UniformEdsCh4-c.html. Accessed 26 March 2021.
Twain, Mark. “Stirring Times in Austria” How to tell a Story and other Essays. Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1900. pp. 200-249 (Internet Archive).
“Twain’s Talented Daughter will be Professional Singer.” The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, Calif.), 9 Nov. 1900, p. 2, c. 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. Of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1900-11-09/ed-1/seq-2/.
Welland, Dennis. Mark Twain in England. Chatto and Windus, 1978.
Krauth, Leland. Mark Twain & Company: Six Literary Relations. University of Georgia Press, 2003.
Lederer, Max. “Mark Twain in Vienna.” Mark Twain Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 1, 1945, pp. 1–12. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42657855. Accessed 1 Apr. 2021.
Paine, Albert B. The Writings of Mark Twain. Gabriel Wells, 1922-1925 (Internet Archive).
Rasmussen, R. Kent. Critical Companion to Mark Twain : A Literary Reference to his Life and Work. Facts on File, 2007 (Internet Archive).
Twain, Mark. Reportagen aus dem Reichsrat 1898/1899. Residenz Verlag, 2017.