Posts Tagged: mark twain

The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #25: Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Success?

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In America, everybody, it seems, wants to be a success. Me, too. Recently, I confided to a family member that sometimes, in moments of deep despair (fortunately they are fairly uncommon), I find myself contemplating suicide as the most sensible retirement plan. The road ahead, paved with potholes and poverty, sometimes doesn’t look all that […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Jerald Walker

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Jerald Walker discusses his memoir, The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult, the story of his childhood in The Worldwide Church of God, and how the act of writing delivered him from bitterness.

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The Rumpus Interview with Emily Raboteau

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Emily Raboteau discusses her essay, “Know Your Rights!” from the collection, The Fire This Time, what she loves about motherhood, and why it’s time for White America to get uncomfortable.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #63: Patrick Madden

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Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. He pays close attention to the details of the every day, infusing humor and self-deprecation, combining […]

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Beaking the Language Barrier

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Twain endorsed the book, saying “Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.” A 19th century Portuguese-to-English phrase book, English as She Is Spoke, broke the conversational ice between two countries—as well as many funny bones. File under: you won’t […]

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I’ll Fly Away: Notes on Economy Class Citizenship

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I want to break from a continued and systematic white supremacy so pervasive it is entrenched in the vernacular I use to express myself.

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Mapping Literary Road Trips

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What is more American than the road trip? Steven Melendez has created an astonishingly detailed interactive map of the beloved institution as documented in twelve works of American literature. The books featured include Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Mark Twain’s Roughing It, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Acid […]

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Conversations with Literary Ex-Cons: Jack Gantos

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Jack Gantos discusses the sense of “delusional invincibility” he had in 1970s New York that led him to prison—and then on to a career as an award-winning children’s book author.

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Before Twain Was Twain

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Newspaper journalist Samuel Clemens would eventually go on to become novelist Mark Twain. But, Samuel Clemens was something of a story writer too. At the Guardian, Nicky Woolf reports that a scholar at the University of California has discovered and authenticated letters stories written by Twain while he still worked at the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle. […]

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The Melancholy of Age

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For Electric Literature, Henry Stewart examines the coming of age stories of Ray Bradbury. In addition to comparing Bradbury’s “boy’s boys” to characters in works by Mark Twain and James Agee, Stewart draws parallels between Bradbury’s novels and the author’s biography. What he finds is that Bradbury’s characters’ fascination with “inevitable, inexorable death,” may be related to […]

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Who Robbed Mark Twain’s Grave?

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Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s, a dastardly criminal (or Mark Twain superfan) stole a bronze plaque of Twain’s profile from his gravestone in Elmira, N.Y. At Melville House, former Elmira resident Alex Shephard examines the city’s complicated relationship with its literary past—and swears that, although he was home for Christmas, he didn’t do it.

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The Funny Side of Writing

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Over at the New Yorker, read an excerpt from Mike Sacks’s upcoming Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. The selection features an interview with George Saunders, in which the writer talks about his upbringing, getting inspiration for characters from working in a restaurant, Mark Twain, comedy, and humor versus satire.

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The Strange Life of Dan Carter Beard

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Dan Carter Beard wasn’t just one of the founders of Boy Scouts of America; he was also Mark Twain’s most trusted illustrator. Twain said of Beard’s work: Dan Beard is the only man who can correctly illustrate my writings for he not only illustrates the text, but he also illustrates my thoughts. The Public Domain […]

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Mark Twain Still Popular…In China!

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Did you know that Mark Twain is one of the best known foreign writers in China? Neither did we. There is a well earned, and unabashed image of Mark Twain as the quintessential American author and for good reason. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains in the American cannon and is taught all over the […]

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“I Am Greatly Troubled By What You Say”

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In a Letter of Note from earlier this week, Mark Twain replies to a librarian’s note concerning the Brooklyn Public Library ban on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in his characteristically wry and confounding way. After the library found copies of  Twain’s most famous works in the children’s room at the library, Asa Dickinson, the […]

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Once Banned, Now Loved

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Eve’s Diary, Mark Twain’s retelling of Adam and Eve, is back on Charlton, MA library shelves after a 105-year absence. The book was banned due to seemingly explicit illustrations (though they “now seem quite chaste”). Its return is timely—this Saturday marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, celebrating literary freedom. One-hundred years late is better […]

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Literary Mail

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Mark Twain found another way to be immortal—and it doesn’t involve the posthumous release of a book. It’s actually one of the coolest collaborations between a US government agency and the literary arts: the Mark Twain stamp, which is the 27th one of the USPS’ literary arts series. Nice choice, Postal Service!

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Mark Twain on Mark Twain

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“The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.” — It’s finally time. Mark […]

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Morning Coffee

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Is it just me or is today really dorky? We here at the Rumpus aren’t always so keen on the idea of steampunk, we do however like these lamps a lot. Mark Twain is PISSED! Perhaps you need to buy a porcelain envelope. The artificial eyelid is coming. Prisoner’s still can’t play D and D.

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