Sunday, 20 August 2017

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. The name taken from the sounding line used when testing the depth of water under a vessels keel. He was an American writer and humorist. Mark Twain wrote the classic American novels 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.'

I read them and 'Pudding Head Wilson' several times as a child. I have gone on to read much more as an adult. He honed in his writing a distinctive narrative style, friendly, funny, irreverent, often satirical and always eager to deflate the pretentious. He would certainly be on my bucket list of dinner guests for a convivial evening.

Well known for his one-line-quotes such as: 'I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.' He was also know for his short pithy comments such as: 'Go to Heaven for the climate. Go to Hell for the company.' He was revered in his lifetime for his political observations such as: 'Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.' 
 
Not forgetting a quote that seems so true today: 'The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.'

Before turning his attention to writing for various newspapers. He was a boater of sorts and in real life for a time a river boat pilot on the Mississippi. Often his writing would have a waterways influence in it.

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