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.
could pronounce; and said that these cigars were a present to me from the Captain General of Cuba, and were not procurable for money at any price. These simple devices were successful. My friends contemplated the long nines with the deepest reverence, and smoked them the whole evening in an ecstasy of happiness, and went away grateful to me and with their souls steeped in a sacred joy. I carried the experiment no further, but dropped it there. A year later these same men were at my house to
aspect; but he had the calm, possessed, surgical look of a man who could endure pain in another person. I got in the chair and looked about me, noting the cuspidor at my left elbow, the convenient glass of water; the table at my right covered with long steel bodkins laid out in rows on a white napkin; then laid my head back in the rest, feeling pale and nervous, for this thing was all new to me; new and hellish, if I may use such a word without offense. The doctor bent over me, I spread my mouth,
on, the outlines of the village houses grew vague, the lights began to twinkle in the windows. The wind swept the street in furious gusts, driving a storm of snow and sleet before it. I stopped in front of a small house and leaned on the low fence, for there was a pleasant picture, for an outcast, visible through one of the windows. It was a family at supper. There was a roaring wood fire burning on the hearth; there was a cat curled up in a chair, asleep; there were some books on a what-not,
particular friend of mine—a man who is still my old and particular friend—a friend who, for brevity’s sake—concealment’s sake—I will call Fuller—Frank Fuller. It was a great mistake that he committed—that he innocently committed. There are two private versions of the matter—his and mine. One of them is not true. I have always had more confidence in mine, because although he was older than I, he had not had as much practice in telling the truth. He always means to speak the truth—no one who knows
He was at white heat with one of his splendid enthusiasms, and so I was carried away by it and believed it all. For I was only a young thing—callow, trustful, ignorant of the world—hardly 33 years old, and easily persuaded to my hurt by any person with plausible ways and an eloquent tongue—and he had these. So at last I consented, but begged him to get a small hall—a hall which would not seat more than 500—so as to cover accidents; and then if it should be overpacked we could take a large hall