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 Test....more
Posts Tagged: mark twain
A new article on Open Culture examines the fascinating friendship between Mark Twain and Helen Keller, two of the 20th century’s most revolution-minded popular authors. Twain was taken with Keller from their first meeting, and made it a personal mission to support her education and career....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.
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 country however it was a lesser known story of his that has him being taught along side of Mao Zedong....more
In the New Yorker, Ben Tarnoff reviews Volume II of the Autobiography of Mark Twain.
Notorious for his ability to talk a blue streak, Twain dictated the entire three-volume tome of over 5000 typewritten pages while lying in bed awaiting, it would seem, his own demise....more
In a museum in Havana there are two skulls...more
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 man writing Twain, defended the books and admitted to having read Huck Finn to “defenseless blind people, without regard to their age, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Twain didn’t give the man much sympathy and explained the danger that uncouth reading subjects present to children:...more
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....more
Have you checked out Sunday Magazine? It’s writer David Friedman’s site with articles from The New York Times Sunday Magazine exactly 100 years ago from the date he posts.
One of the articles for July 30, 1911, “When Mark Twain Nearly Changed His Literary Career,” features an interview with Twain talking about reviews for The Prince and the Pauper....more
Mark Twain’s humor is post-age. His children’s book, Advice to Little Girls was published in 1865 and was a comedic gem amongst the moralizing, heavy-on-the-role-models books of the genre. His story is recast as a slideshow of illustrations by the children’s book illustrator and writer, Vladimir Radunksy....more
Jaimy Gordon’s National Book Award-winning novel conveys the hard-knock world of horseracing in a style reminiscent of Walker Percy and Mark Twain....more
“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....more