Item 70 is a first American edition of Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, published in 1883. In it, Twain looks back on his youth when he was involved in navigating a steamboat, and then retraces his trip down the Mississippi in the post-Civil War era. Whitmore notes that Twain wrote this book at the same time he was working on Huckleberry Finn, with themes overlapping. Laid in is one of only 250 copies of the Suppressed Chapter of Life on the Mississippi, printed in 1913. Originally Chapter 48, the publisher removed this section, which began with, “I missed one thing in the South – African slavery.” It is written in Twain's typical tongue-in-cheek style, but his views on Southern attitudes are inescapable. He humorously notes that Emancipation made half of the South free. “But the white half,” he adds, “is apparently as far from emancipation as ever.” He points to the political conformity of voting in the South. He later digs even deeper, talking about southern reluctance to convict murderers, but southerners still having a sense of justice, so dealing with murderers with lynchings, conducted by parties reluctant to show their faces. While pretending to be describing a concern for justice, the allusion to the masked Klansmen and their lynching of blacks is obvious, so much so that the publisher feared the chapter would hurt sales in the South. He excised it from the book. This missing chapter was discovered after Twain's death, and published separately in this four page extra. $2,950.
Item 38 is Franz Kafka's “lasting celebration of bureaucratic absurdities.” It is a first American edition of The Trial, published in 1937 (originally published in German in 1925). It is a story of a man who is arrested for unstated charges, hauled before an obscure court, with no real hope of defending himself. It is one of those surreal stories that led to such situations being known as “Kafkaesque.” Kafka was himself an obscure person when he died in 1924, not a celebrated writer. He ordered his friend and literary executor, Max Brod, to burn all of his letters and unfinished work when he died. Fortunately, Brod ignored the order and published his unpublished works, including this story a year after Kafka died. $2,950.