This article proposes that readers of Twain's The Mysterious Stranger should not rely on printed versions of the story alone, but approach the story as an editor would, considering the incomplete drafts as constitutive of the work's structure, characters, and themes. The prospect of a digital edition of The Mysterious Stranger, informed by a variety of editorial theories and practices (critical text editing, the sociology of texts, fluid-text theory, and digital documentary editing), serves as the article's premise for a materially and technologically informed interpretation of the tale's past and future, in print and online.

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