Mark Twain: the original Missourian

Today's post comes from Anita, our manager of Children's Literature.
(Intimidating guy, no?)

"'Classic' -- a book which people praise and don't read."              
 -Mark Twain

I love the focus on Mark Twain that grew from the 2010 100th anniversary of his death.  It was more than just promotional hype because Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain's real name) had stipulated that his uncensored biography not be released to public view until 100 years after his death.    Five thousand pages of unedited memoir will eventually be available to the public, starting with the 2010 November publication of volume one. I have to ask myself, what he was compelled to write that required 100 years to cool off?

Mark Twain is a favorite of mine because of his amazing ability to tell an entertaining story, while simultaneously looking inside the human race and identifying truth.  His stories identify truth in human nature more clearly than if you were looking at it through a microscope.   The man was a genius, funny, fallible, and outrageous--but still a genius. 

If you have no hope or desire to slog through 5000 pages of memoir, at least enjoy the byproduct of new Mark Twain publications that are off shoots of this event.  A favorite of mine is The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West by Side Fleischman.  So titled because the first posters advertising Mark Twain appearances advised that the doors would open at seven, “The Trouble to begin at 8 o’clock.”  This book has lots of photos and is a quick read. Another favorite is The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Suzy) by Barbara Kerley has excerpts from Suzy Clemen's journal.  A humorous introduction to Mark Twin can be found in Robert Burleigh’s The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn.  

Biographies aside, my favorite work of  Mark Twain's is The Diaries of Adam and Eve: translated by Mark Twain

What's yours?



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