...you can't write literature with it, because it hasn't any ideas & it
hasn't any gift for elaboration, or smartness of talk, or ivior of action, or
felicity of expression, but is just matter-of-fact, compressive, unornamental,
& as grave & unsmiling as the devil. I filled four dozen cylinders in
two settings, then found I could have said about as much with the pen &
said it a deal better.
- letter to William Dean Howells, April 4, 1891
I don't mind them away back two or three rooms, but I don't like to be close
beside them when they're talking through their teeth. They never really represent
the human voice, and for that reason I've always declined to talk a record into
- quoted in The New York Times, June 30, 1907, "Mark Twain's Experiences in the Hands of British Interviewers"
1907 advertisement for the gramophone
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