Who Is Mark Twain?
ABOUT THE BOOK
“You had better shove this in the stove,” Mark Twain said at the top of an 1865 letter to his brother, “for I don’t want any absurd ‘literary remains’ and ‘unpublished letters of Mark Twain’ published after I am planted.” He was joking, of course. But when Mark Twain died in 1910, he left behind the largest collection of personal papers created by any nineteenth-century American author. Who Is Mark Twain? presents twenty-six wickedly funny, disarmingly relevant pieces by the American master—a man who was well ahead of his time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835, in the village of Florida, Missouri. He attended the ordinary western common school until he was twelve, the last of his formal schooling. In a span of fifteen years he was successively a typesetter, a steamboat pilot, a soldier for three weeks, a silver miner, a newspaper reporter, and a bohemian in San Francisco known as “Mark Twain.” But in 1865, deeply in debt, he acknowledged a talent for “literature, of a low order, i.e., humorous.” In the next forty years, he published more than a dozen books and hundreds of shorter works, including his masterpiece, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
“As funny and insightful as any of [Twain’s] published and well-known works, these essays take on the federal government, religion, race, fame, and even the literary canon with a sharp-eyed clarity we can chuckle over as we read while feeling uncomfortable knowing that they feel all too contemporary.” (Walter Mosley )
“More than 100 years after [Twain] wrote these stories, they remain not only remarkably funny but remarkably modern….Ninety-nine years after his death, Twain still manages to get the last laugh.” (Vanity Fair )
“Who Is Mark Twain? is a refreshing reintroduction to both [Twain’s] critical analytical thought and his playful sense of humor.” (Los Angeles Times)
WHY I LOVED THIS BOOK
I have a love-hate relationship with Mark Twain, and I am probably not the only one.
Once, I saw a documentary on him, and I was rather appalled at his character, at how he evolved in relation to money issues.
But, I still enjoy so much his witty way of writing and criticizing quite a few things around him. I am also fascinated by his positions on language, for instance the “awful German language.”
This book is a collection of several essays by him, they are all pretty funny; my only disappointment is that some of them were unfinished.
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