What a day!

From the moment I heard about it until Friday I was looking forward to begin reading the new complete, authoritative autobiography of Mark Twain. By the time Univ of California and its editors finish this mammoth project, left in tatters by Twain himself and then bungled up in one way or another by well-meaning editors after Twain died, the official autobiography will be three big volumes.

What’s your favorite Twain-ism or book?

Well, Twain’s such fun for me — and three big volumes by the time they’re done — I can look forward to dipping into this series for a long, long time. Here’s the link: Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1.

During more than three decades Twain made various attempts at an autobiography, and this brings all that material into one big hunk of a book. Previous editors arranged the entries as they saw fit and edited out some of the stuff so we’ve been waiting for a long, long time for this complete edition.

Forgive me if every now and then I don’t get a post up; I may well be laughing my head off reading this autobiography.

Twain was a ham-bone entertainer; a world class storyteller and a witty writer. He talks about everything and has opinions on everything, even when he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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  • pep

    “Whenever I feel the urge to exercise I lie down until it goes away”; and “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

  • “Imagine you were a congressman. Imagine you were an idiot. … but I repeat myself.”

    And …

    “Af age 12 you should seal your child inside a barrel and feed them through a hole in the side. At 16, plug up the whole.”

    and …

    “Tales of my passing have been greatly exaggerated.”

  • Michael

    Mark Twain: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

  • Barb

    sometimes i find out that my fav. Mark Twain quote can not actually be attributed to him at all.
    my favorite essay is “That awful German Language” at least without looking it up I think that’s the title.

  • MatthewS

    The most recent one I read (available online) is “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. What a story-teller.

  • How I Edited an Agricultural Paper is the most scathing satire of the press I’ve ever read and it still remains true today. Read it at: http://www.twainquotes.com/Galaxy/187007a.html

  • DRT

    “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

    I have it framed on my desk 🙂

  • I was pleased to learn that he became friends with George MacDonald.

  • Puddin’head Wilson’s Calendar.

  • “Man was created at the end of the week’s work–when God was tired.”

  • An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven’t been done before.

    I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.

    I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

  • Darren King

    Living in sunny, warm, Sacramento county, I particularly like this one, referring to the city to our west:

    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”