Speaking of Sanders...I recently discovered some new passages he wrote. In 1895, Sanders took over the compilation, editing and publishing of Volume 2 of Contributions to the Montana Historical Society, due to the illness of the previous editor. The volume consisted of reminiscences, diaries, and other documents pertinent to Montana's early history. The Introduction to the volume was unattributed but almost surely written by Sanders, given his primary role in preparing the volume and the numerous overlaps (stylistic and topic-wise) with his other known writings (see below). In addition to the Introduction, Sanders also wrote a few extended footnotes throughout the volume.
The new texts add some very interesting topical, linguistic, and thematic correspondences with Erdnase.
1) In other writings, Sanders refers to gambling games (faro, etc). Here he alludes to a particular sleight of hand manoevre
(while describing fallacious accounts of Montana's history):
"the literary huckster ... has PALMED OFF upon us our own alleged history."
2) In a footnote about Captain William Clark(e), Sanders discusses the varied spelling of Clark's name (with and without the "e") and declares that "A SIMILAR MUTATION in the spelling of names is illustrated in many OTHER INSTANCES beside this." This is yet another example of Sanders' strong and recurrent interest in names and arrangements of letters (and, by extension, anagrams). And perhaps it is also a sly, covert reference to the particular MUTATION from "WE Sanders" to "ES Andrews" to "SW Erdnase."
3) One passage in the Introduction closely mirrors Erdnase's often quoted rant against "self-styled 'Ex-Professionals'" and instead targets "self-constituted 'historians'". In both phrases they a) mock a professional class (historians/card cheats), b) reinforce an ironic tone by using scare quotes, and c) use almost identical hyphenated adjectives sharing the same lead word: "SELF-styled" vs "SELF-constituted".
In addition, the two passages correspond in several other ways (detailed below). Here are the two passages with relevant words in CAPS. Erdnase:
SELF-STYLED "EX-PROFESSIONALS" have regaled the PUBLIC with ASTOUNDING DISCLOSURES of their former wiles and wickedness, and have proven a wonderful KNOWLEDGE of the subject by exhuming some ANTIQUATED MOSS-COVERED RUSES as well known as NURSERY RHYMES, and even these extraordinary revelations are calmly dismissed with the assertion that this or that artifice is employed; in nowise attempting to explain the process or give the DETAIL of the action mentioned. If TERRIFIC DENUNCIATION of erstwhile associates, and a DIATRIBE on the awful consequences of gambling are a criterion of ability, THESE PURIFIED PRODIGALS must have been very dangerous companions at the card table.Sanders/intro:
That UNBLUSHING VISIGOTH, the literary HUCKSTER with his SECOND-HAND wares, has BROKEN IN upon our sleeplessness, JARRED COARSELY on our sensibilities, usurped without invitation or consent the most responsible and solemn position which our CIVILIZATION has created and in which every CITIZEN has an interest, and has PALMED OFF upon us our own alleged history. These literary commercial travelers seize EXTANT INFORMATION without reference to its RELIABILITY to give currency to wares of UNIMPORTANT or APOCRYPHAL QUALITY [...] His mission is fulfilled when he tumbles into one kaleideoscopic mass what has been said, without reference to what has occurred. Such is our SELF-CONSTITUTED "HISTORIAN" and of such quality is his ALLEGED "History."
Both passages describe a set of shameless and self-promoting HUCKSTERS who have HOODWINKED the PUBLIC with old, subpar INFORMATION in an aggressive/crude/deceptive MANNER.
THE HUCKSTERS (shameless/sanctimonious):
- self-constituted "historian" VS self-styled "ex-professionals"
- unblushing visigoth; literary huckster VS purified prodigals
THE INFORMATION (old and subpar):
- second-hand wares; extant VS antiquated moss-covered ruses as well known as nursery rhymes
- unreliable; apocryphal; unimportant; alleged VS no explanation of the process; lacking detail
- every citizen; civilization VS the public
THE MANNER (aggressive, crude, and deceptive)
- broken in; jarred coarsely; palmed off VS terrific denunciation; diatribe; astounding disclosures (ironic)
Also note the similarity between:
Sanders: JARRED COARSELY on our SENSIBILITIES [in Intro above]
Erdnase: EXTREMELY GALLING to their aristocratic SENSIBILITIES. [in Exclusive Coterie]
4) In Montana Historical Society Contributions Volume 2, Sanders included an errata correcting a spelling mistake, in text he had written, where INCOGNITA in TERRA INCOGNITA was misspelled INCOGNITO. Sanders tellingly makes this error while describing a "venturesome life" where the "chiefest delight" is in "overcoming dangers," a close parallel to Erdnase's description of a gambler's "delight" in "making the hazard." This suggests the possibility that INCOGNITO was a Freudian slip, revealing that Sanders operated incognito under pseudonyms (e.g. Erdnase and/or Andrews) in order to hide his true identity.
A comparison with Sanders' other writings and the Introduction are given here (http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coyne/erdna ... vol2-intro
). In addition, the fuller document has been updated over the past several months and contains many other new interesting correspondences between the two writers.