Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Deathday, Mr. Twain

Samuel Clemens
(a.k.a. "Mark Twain")
b. : 30 November 1835
d. : 21 April 1910
. Arguably, one of the two greatest American writers of the 19th Century (the other being Edgar Allan Poe), Samuel Langhorne Clemens passed away exactly 100 years ago today. You can read the Wikipedia article about him here. He came in with Halley's Comet (two weeks after it appeared), and went out with Halley's Comet (one day after its next appearance). Freaky. . His famous novels (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn) frankly do not impress me. But his overall wit and keen insight do. Kind of a "Will Rogers with 40 more IQ points" guy. . And if you don't agree that he's among the two greatest 19th Century authors, then who else? Nathaniel Hawthorne? Boring. Ralph Waldo Emerson? Even more boring. Herman Melville? All-time boringest. Louisa May Alcott? Only if Nancy Drew is your idea of great literature. . And the picks for greatest 19th Century American poets are even worse.

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