Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Mark Twain Is The Man

I've been out of commission in the writing words game, solely subsisting on greek letters and special functions (here's a new friend). But I try to read a little whenever I can. I was scouring a Smithsonian for any semblance of enjoyable material when I stumbled upon an article about Samuel Johnson, an esteemed biographer of social commentator James Boswell. That seemed like so many literary levels removed from real life, until I found out that "Writing the Life of Samuel Johnson", a chronology of said biographer, had taken it a step further, yet still won very prestigious critics awards. Who reads this stuff anyway? This is two hops and a skip away from a rumor mill, except that I guess it's fastidiously researched to the point of obsession. I want to get back to the roots of American Literature and celebrate a man who wouldn't dare get caught on a hype track for some other writer essaying on the story of another writers writing. I just realized I'm writing about this.

Here's a few reasons why Mark Twain is the MAN, some are outright lies. He:

Invented the huckleberry.

Inspired the song Cripple Creek Ferry. Neil Young is his grandson.

Vilified and mocked the British and their snooty accents. Still got a degree from Oxford.

Bathed in rivers. Made money.

Had a real name, but didn't use it.

Spoke out against slavery, imperialism, and civil injustices around the world. Also, was born with fluffy moustaches.

Is the reason we know the period of Halley's comet.

Fell in love with a picture. Then married the woman in it. Talk about self aware.

Chilled with Nik Tesla, physics badboy and understood wizard.

Became depressed when his daughter died -- a proper and forthright reaction.

Wrote books that are still banned for being naughty. TEE HEE

1 comment:

  1. His pen name came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats. Deckhands would yell "Mark twain!" if the river was deep enough to pass, indicating that the river was "twain" (an archaic term for "two") fathoms deep because of the "mark" it left on the rope measuring the water depth. This was a clever allusion to the fact that Twain was 12 feet tall and slept underwater.