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The New York Times, February 12, 1918


Annoying, but Not Dangerous.

Anybody who is at all well read in the literature of "communications" ascribed to the "spirits" of departed notables can easily understand why the daughter of MARK TWAIN grieves over the fact that a whole bookful of such "messages" from her distinguished father is soon to appear. It is not easy to see, however, just what she or others in like case can do to prevent the publication of such a volume.

Unless it differs amazingly from all previous books of the same class, it will, indeed, demonstrate to all who accept the claims made as to its origin that habitation of the other world results in a pathetic deterioration of intelligence and a complete loss of the sense of humor. But there is no possibility of proving in court that such changes show the "communications" to be spurious. Whoever will can say they are what would be expected from the difficulties of transmission through an imperfect channel, and that assertion puts an end to argument. At any rate, it leaves small chance for an appeal to the law for protection or redress.

It is much to be regretted that MARK TWAIN himself is precluded by circumstances from commenting on the forthcoming and very posthumous production. The task is one that would have delighted him - and its performance by him would delight everybody else - except, perhaps, the psychical researchers who so industriously set down the products of subconscious activities. His daughter should not be unduly disturbed. Her father's memory is safe, no matter what nonsense the "mediums" say he makes them talk or write.

Related articles on the "Jap Herron" lawsuit:
September 9, 1917 - LATEST WORKS OF FICTION (book review)
June 9, 1918 - SUE FOR "SPIRIT" STORY.

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