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Oct 24, Mat rated it it was amazing Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, is one of the most important writers in American literature.
Not only should his major works, such as Huckleberry Finn, be read by young readers, especially young Americans, but also his lesser known works, of which this book offers a nice delicious serving, should be read with joy and wonder.
Twain's tongue-in-cheek humour, sometimes scathingly sarcastic, other times bitter and dry, never fails to make an impression. Even when he is poking fun at someone, he doe Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, is one of the most important writers in American literature. Even when he is poking fun at someone, he does it in jest and so gently that you can't help chuckling along with him, even when you disagree with him - one example is this: Americans] own the bulk of the shares.
As Twain reminds us here, "everything human is pathetic. The secret of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow.
There is no Humor in heaven. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.
Some of my favourites were, " 'Classic. Another man's, I mean", "Each person is born to one possession which outvalues all his others - his last breath", "true irreverence is disrespect for another man's god", "don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live" and my personal favourite - "every one is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Imagine what he would say now!?!??!? Twain was horrified about the US intervening in the political and diplomatic affairs of other countries, such as The Philippines, and says, " He writes with great finesse about politics and apparently in an interview in lamented that America was educating its children to be patriots instead of citizens - and this is exactly my gripe with a lot of people still today - are you a patriot or a citizen of the world?
Another great moment is when he talked about something which he calls 'the silent-assertion lie'. Essentially, there are two types of lies - 1 the everyday commonplace lies like "where were you last night? Towards the end of the book, Twain amusingly discusses how he developed his style; it was purely by unconsciously and subconsciously absorbing writings by others which he liked or admired or even his own and then subsuming them within his own writing - but it's a slow process which one develops and accumulates subconsciously over time.
More concretely, somewhat, he says, "there is only one right form for a story, and if you fail to find that form, the story will not tell itself. I have heard this mentioned by several artists - especially writers and musicians - but I wonder how much of it is actually true. If it is true, that our ideas for songs, books, poems, paintings come from someplace else, what is truly ours if anything?
Are we just a conduit or satellite for ideas from other places?
I was going to take a course using the book, but the course was so bad that I couldn't hang in there. I enjoyed the humor, self-parody, and irony of the pieces that I read. Twain was definitely talented, and I love his love of words; however, I got bored with the patterns of writing that he uses.
I think I was soured by the bad teacher. Eventually, I gave up.Arabic Books on Clearance - Nearly Titles at Liquidation Clearance Pricing! (Very limited quantities available. When they're gone, they're gone!). Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
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Documenting all of Mark Twain's known public speeches, readings and lectures is a monumental undertaking first attempted by Paul Fatout in his classic volume MARK TWAIN SPEAKING published by University of Iowa Press, Fatout's listing has been updated at least once by noted Twain scholar Louis Budd in "A Supplement to 'A Chronology' in MARK TWAIN SPEAKING" published in Essays in .
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