Mark Twain -He was born in November 30, 1835. -Original name: Samuel Langhorne Clemens. -Americanauthor and humorist -Most famous books:The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
-He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri.-He was the sixth of seven children, but only three of his siblings survived childhood.-As he was 11, his father also died. -1859: Steamboat pilot license. -This occupation gave him his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms.
-He convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, but Henry died when the steamboat he was working on, exploded. -He felt responsible for this death for the rest of his life.
-He was fascinated with science and scientific inquiry. -InthebookConnecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court he usedhisknowledge of sciencetointroduce modern technology. -This type of storyline would later become a common feature of the alternative history. -1865:The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County International attention
Autobiography: -Twain's last work.-1870: He first started to write it, but he sometimes stopped and then returned to his work back later as the mood took him. In a letter he wrote: “I’ve struck it! And I will give it away—to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography.” -He left his autobiography in typescript and manuscript at his death. -He outlined a plan for the autobiographical work which was to be published 100 years after his death. He explains this at the first page, why:
„In this Autobiography I shall keep in mind the fact that I am speaking from the grave. I am literally speaking from the grave, because I shall be dead when the book issues from the press. I speak from the grave rather than with my living tongue, for a good reason: I can speak thence freely. When a man is writing a book dealing with the privacies of his life--a book which is to be read while he is still alive--he shrinks from speaking his whole frank mind; all his attempts to do it fail, he recognizes that he is trying to do a thing which is wholly impossible to a human being. The frankest and freest and privatest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter; the writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing.”
“I intend that this autobiography . . . shall be read and admired a good many centuries because of its form and method—form and method whereby the past and the present are constantly brought face to face, resulting in contrasts which newly fire up the interest all along, like contact of flint with steel.”
“The greatest difference which I find between her and the rest of the people whom I have known, is this, and it is a remarkable one: those others felt a strong interest in a few things, whereas to the very day of her death she felt a strong interest in the whole world and everything and everybody in it. In all her life she never knew such a thing as half-hearted interest in affairs and people, or an interest which drew a line and left out certain affairs and was indifferent to certain people. The invalid who takes a strenuous and indestructible interest in everything and everybody but himself, and to whom a dull moment is an unknown thing and an impossibility, is a formidable adversary for disease and a hard invalid to vanquish, I am certain it was this feature of my mother’s make-up that carried her so far toward ninety.”
„I recall Mary Miller. She was not my first sweetheart, but I think she was the first one that furnished me a broken heart. I fell in love with her when she was eighteen and I was nine, but she scorned me, and I recognized that this was a cold world … I soon transferred my worship to Artimisia Briggs, who was a year older than Mary Miller. When I revealed my passion to her she did not scoff. She did not make fun of me. She was very kind and gentle about it. But she was also firm, and said she did not want to be pestered by children. „
"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."