Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910. The year 2010 marks the 175th anniversary of his birth, the 125th anniversary of Twain’s pinnacle work Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the 100th anniversary of his death. Join us in a 365 day celebration of the life of the person William Faulkner called “the father of American literature".
The New York Times marks the anniversary of his death with an article entitled Twain’s Heavily Lawyered Last Words.
His classic works include Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the Prince and the Pauper.
As a tribute to one of America’s most famous humorists, we offer several of his quotations:
...simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far.
- The Alphabet and Simplified Spelling speech;
There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it and when he can.
- Following the Equator
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
- Following the Equator
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1898’
I asked Tom if countries always apologized when they had done wrong, and he says--"Yes; the little ones does."
- Tom Sawyer Abroad
Twain is also quoted as saying:
doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.' "
Twain’s prediction was accurate and he died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.
(with the permission of Tom Chalkley
Visionary Production offers a video clip on Twain:
He had also said:
When I finished Carlyle's French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read it differently – being influenced and changed, little by little, by life and environment ... and now I lay the book down once more, and recognize that I am a Sansculotte! – And not a pale, characterless Sansculotte, but a Marat *.
Here is a videoclip of Part 1 of the full-length film, The Adventures of Mark Twain.
The remainder of the movie may be seen on YouTube.
*Andrew Jay Hoffman, Inventing Mark Twain: The Lives of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (New York: William Morrow, 1997), p. 8.
Dead for a Century, Twain Says What He Meant
Our Mysterious Stranger. Newsweek, July 30, 2010