The Trouble Begins with Kerry Driscoll & Mark Twain’s Creative Process (IN-PERSON AND STREAMING)
October 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave
Join us on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 at 7:00pm as The Mark Twain House & Museum welcomes Dr. Kerry Driscoll back to the Trouble Begins stage for her lecture A Delicate Balance: Work and Play in Mark Twain’s Creative Process.
Although Mark Twain published over twenty books during his lifetime—in addition to countless short stories, sketches, and essays—he nonetheless repeatedly maintained that he was essentially a “lazy” man. Speaking to a New York Times reporter on the cusp of his 70th birthday in 1905, for example, Twain insisted that he “had not done a day’s work in all [his] life,” explaining, “What I have done…was play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it.” This talk, featuring archival photographs and manuscripts from the Mark Twain Project, examines the concepts of “work” and “play” in terms of the writer’s creative process and prolific literary output. Specifically, it explores the physical conditions and circumstances Mark Twain found most conducive to the expression of his artistic genius—from his Quarry Farm study in Elmira, NY to a rented room atop a mountain in Heidelberg, Germany, and culminating in the comfort of his elaborately carved Venetian bed.
This is a FREE HYBRID event sponsored by CT Humanities and the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York.
In-person attendees are invited to come to the Museum Center early to visit this year’s summer exhibition For Business or Pleasure? Twain’s Summer Sojourns which highlights the Clemens family’s American-based summer vacations. Virtual attendees will receive a link to watch live via YouTube.
Kerry Driscoll, professor of English emerita at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, CT, is now an Associate Editor at the Mark Twain Papers and Project at the University of California, Berkeley. Kerry is a long-time Twain scholar and the author of Mark Twain among the Indians And Other Indigenous Peoples, the first book-length study of the writer’s vexed representations of Native peoples over the course of his fifty year career (UC Press, 2018). In 2022, she received the Mark Twain Circle of America’s Louis J. Budd Award for Distinguished Scholarship in recognition of the groundbreaking nature of her research. She has worked closely with the Mark Twain House and Museum for almost twenty years, and served on its Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2023.