Who Is Mark Twain?
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“[Twain] was, in the phrase of his friend William Dean Howells, ‘the Lincoln of our literature’... At the heart of his work lies that greatest of all American qualities: irreverence.”
— Washington Post
“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 collection of twenty six wickedly funny, thought-provoking essays by Samuel Langhorne Clemens—aka Mark Twain—none of which have ever been published before, and all of which are completely contemporary, amazingly relevant, and gut-bustingly hilarious.
says or does a pleasant thing. Mr. Robert Ferrars, gentleman, is coarse, is a snob, and an all-round offensive person. Mr. Palmer, gentleman, is coarse, brute-mannered, and probably an ass, though we cannot tell, yet, because he cloaks himself behind silences which are not often broken by speeches that contain material enough to construct an analysis out of. His wife, lady, is coarse and silly. Lucy Steele’s sister is coarse, foolish, and disagreeable. THE FORCE OF “SUGGESTION” If a wave of
They get but their 5 per cent; and they get it on what they are, not on what they pretend to be.” Observation. This fable teaches us that the character of the Equality established by our laws is commonly misunderstood on both sides of the water; and not oftener by the ignorant than by the ostensibly wise. HAPPY MEMORIES OF THE DENTAL CHAIR Are all dentists active talkers? And have they come by this gift by inheritance? The barber was the first dentist; he had been pulling teeth for thousands
longer; I do not care for a pain unless I can have it all to myself. The doctor’s voice seemed removed to a little distance and somewhat subdued, or muffled; but his work seemed more aggressive and vigorous than ever (as perhaps it was), and nearer by, too. The chloroform introduced the subject of anaesthetics, and the doctor told me about the first painless operation that was ever performed in this world; and his story had a most vivid interest, for the reason that he was the operator himself.
mile up, and slip down behind us; and at the signal they are going to spring their surprise in the dark, front and rear.” “It is hardly believable—for Indians—but no matter, we’ll prepare.” Half of the effectives took position on one side of the island, under lieutenant Burr, the other half on the other side under lieutenant Taylor; a man crossed the river, on each side, and stole out in the gloom and crouched in the grass—no more than these could be spared for picket duty. The two repelling
for him and would have pardoned him; but when he saw that his leg was broken it seemed best to shoot him; which he did, and Billy died licking his hand and looking his love for him out of his fading eyes. THE AMERICAN PRESS Goethe says somewhere that “the thrill of awe”—that is to say, REVERENCE—“is the best thing humanity has.” —MATTHEW ARNOLD. I should say that if one were searching for the best means to efface and kill in a whole nation the discipline of respect, one could not do better