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Mark Twain — biography


The noise proves nothing. Chicken, demolished the egg, often bites as if she had demolished a small planet

Mark Twain (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (article in Russian[ru] — "Марк Твен") — is an American[ru] writer, journalist and public figure. Zodiac sign — Sagittarius.

Stories 60-70-ies-comic, sometimes grotesque description of provincial America (collection "the Famous jumping frog from Calaveras", 1867). Satirical novel " the Gilded age "(1873; together with C. Warner) on financial and political corruption; lyrical and biographical book" Life[ru] on the Mississippi " (1883). The novel "the adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884) marks a Mature social criticism, the discovery of the America in which the poetic (life fortress, daring humor, emotional responsiveness) is combined with inhuman utility and cruelty.

The world of social hierarchy is rejected in the fantastic novel "the Connecticut Yankees at the court of king Arthur" (1889). Later works are imbued with sarcasm and skepticism (novel "the Mysterious stranger", published in 1916). Works about boys (including" the adventures of Tom Sawyer", 1876) became a classic of children's literature.

Childhood impression

Mark Twain was born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri.

In the town of Hannibal on the Mississippi, the future St. Petersburg of TWAIN's most famous books "the adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876) and "the adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884), the family of judge Clemens moved when the future writer Mark was four years old. Stock childhood experiences nurtured the works of mark TWAIN almost to the end of his literary career. The pseudonym mark TWAIN, which from 1863 signed newspaper articles, and then works of art, reminded of his youth, when TWAIN was a pilot on riverboats (twain — "a dozen fathoms", ie sufficient depth). With twelve years TWAIN had to work: apprentice typesetter, a journalist of a provincial newspaper, the prospector in Nevada. He was self-taught, all his life felt the flaws of education, which did not prevent him to create a novel-a study of "personal memories of Joan of Arc" (1896), which required hard work on historical sources, and the story "the Mysterious stranger" (published in 1916), which affected the most complex philosophical problems.

Nothing can stand against humor

The literary school of TWAIN was a newspaper, and his favorite genres for a long time remained satirical essay, comic sketch, humor, often using moves and techniques of narration, typical of folklore. A special role was played in the formation of TWAIN folklore, created on the "frontier" (moving to the West the border, behind which lay the territory, where it did not come civilization). "Frontier" in his childhood Mark TWAIN was Hannibal, at the time of his youth — Nevada and California, where he received the fame of an outstanding journalist and luminary of humor.

Starting with a textbook story "the celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras" (1865) has selected creative features, and continuing in the early sketch books TWAIN ("the Innocents abroad", 1869, "Light", 1872, "Life on the Mississippi", 1883): the closeness to the forms of folk narrative-anecdote, an abundance of vivid details of everyday life, creating a picture of reality, with its contrasts and paradoxes, feeling powerful, inexhaustible energy of life, humor, understood as "the ability to laugh while maintaining full seriousness". Under the onslaught of humor, the writer believed,"nothing can resist."

Embodied in the "Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and the philosophical tale "the Prince and the beggar" (1882) the ideal of Mark TWAIN — freedom from all conventional and lifeless, organic democracy, belief in the rationality of history and the spiritual forces of the ordinary man. The mockery of the artificiality and dilapidated forms of relations that would be swept away by progress was in line with the mentality prevailing in America at the time, ready to recognize TWAIN as its national genius.

Gilded age

However, the reputation of Mark TWAIN began to change with the release of the book about Huck Finn, which contained tragic episodes in which the young heroes of the real everyday life of the backwoods with his scudoum and self-interest, there is a problem of moral choice in the face of injustice, violence and racism.

Having moved in 1870 from California to Hartford, mark TWAIN constantly came into contact with the world of Industrialists and businessmen, to whom he himself was involved after his marriage. The writer was imbued with an increasingly undisguised aversion to the" gilded age", as he called the then era of rapid economic growth, accompanied by rampant corruption and violation of democratic principles. The novel " Yankees from Connecticut at the court of king Arthur "(1889), the story" simpleton Wilson " (1896), pamphlets and satirical stories of the same period indicate the growth of accusatory beginning in prose TWAIN, which gradually becomes the most irreconcilable critic of American social institutions and mass social psychology. The dominant metaphor of Mark TWAIN was a hoax, growing to universal proportions: a fake are established in society, moral norms, and society itself, and spiritual values, in fact, talking only about self-seduction of man, not wanting to realize how he is insignificant and miserable in their aspirations.

Everything human is sad

The growing misanthropy of TWAIN, whose monument was repeatedly altered by him "a Mysterious stranger", was partly due to the fact that unsuccessful business ventures led him to bankruptcy in 1894, so that he had to take exhausting trips for the sake of money with reading[ru] his stories, and then the round-the-world tour described in the book of essays "Along the equator" (1897). This trip turned mark TWAIN into a passionate opponent of imperialism and colonial ambitions of America, sharply condemned by Him in a series of pamphlets written in the early 1900s.

Not all of them were published: setting TWAIN sought to preserve in the public mind the image of the unmovable joyous and carefree comedian, forcing him to hide even from their home especially angry in the same Chapter of his autobiography, which he dictated to the Secretary in the last years of his life. Mood of these years transferred to the epigraph book "on the equator": "all human sad. The innermost source of humor is not joy, but grief. There is no humor in heaven." (A. M. Zverev)

American Landmark

One of the Newspapers called Mark TWAIN "the second attraction of America" after Niagara falls. A lover of cards and Billiards, adored jokes, duelist and a great speaker, he saw in life and rapid success, and huge failures.

From 12 years Mark had to work. The future writer was a printer, a pilot, but he achieved real success in the field of journalism. Readers had been waiting for his essays and humoresques.

At this time, he from Sam Clemens becomes mark TWAIN ("measure 2" - safe depth, the memory of the pilot's past). In 1865 he published his first story, immediately met with a Bang, and in 1869, after the release of "Simpletons abroad" the name "mark TWAIN" becomes known throughout America.

An avid smoker, mark TWAIN claimed that he did not learn this, but asked for a light as soon as he was born. There are many statements of the writer about Smoking and pipes.

Could mark not mention the phone and in his writings: hobo TWAIN smoked pipes made from corn cobs.

Do not think that kukuruzka only vagrants and smoke. TWAIN is generally believed that tube is not corn is not a tube.

Corn, from which are made decent corn tubes, grows only in the United States, more precisely – in Missouri. No wonder it is the pride of the Americans, therefore, Smoking in America not only vagrants.

"Many would like to smoke a pipe, but not everyone can do it," he said once. In the room of the writer has always been twenty or thirty stuffed with tobacco pipes, so he could, not looking up from his work, smoke them one after the other.

Mark TWAIN loved[ru] the same tube shape "Calabash", the company Kapp & Peterson. The model, which smoked the writer, was restored in 1985. In 1980, employees saw a photograph of the writer with a Peterson handset. The pipe was dated 1886 and has not been produced since 1900. Experts restored it from photographs, and in 1985 the tube "mark TWAIN de Luxe" was presented. (Encyclopedia of tubes)

Mark TWAIN's fatal mistake

Mark TWAIN during his lifetime became a famous writer and began to receive good fees. Part of the money he regularly invested in various emerging businesses of the then America. In other words, he was engaged in venture investment.

And so one day he knocked on the door, a real stroke of Luck. She came under the name Alexander bell - Steve Jobs of his time. For many years bell worked on the invention of the phone and at that moment he needed financial help in exchange for a share in the future company.

On March 7, 1876, bell was granted a patent for the invented telephone. In 1878, bell and his partners offered bell's patent to Western Union for $ 100,000, but were refused. According to Western Union President William Orton, the phone was a hopeless "toy". Soon, however, Orton regretted his words. As a result, already in 1880 Orton announced that he was willing to pay $ 25 million for bell's patent and was still considering the deal.

Western Union entered into an agreement with the inventor's companions. So there was a United firm "Bell Company", the bulk of which belonged to Alexander bell. It is known that the price of one share of the company was $1 thousand.

In 1886, 150,000 Americans had the phone, and bell and his co-investors became millionaires. By 1894, telephone service had already spread from new York to Chicago.

And what about mark TWAIN? During these years, his wife's health[ru] deteriorated. He was forced to move to Europe to reduce his living expenses and go on tour to earn money and pay his debts.

And all because in 1870 he closed the door to his Luck.

Famous quotes by Mark TWAIN


Autobiography and letters

Mark Twain's Autobiography:

Mark Twain's Letters, 1853–1880 (2010, posthumous).

"Territorial Enterprise letters" being compiled for release in 2017.


Short stories

Adam and Eve


Short story collections

Essay collections



Other writings

Mark Twain death[ru] on April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut.

Mark TWAIN was born in 1835, the year Halley's comet flew by. He once said, "I came with this comet, and in a year it will appear again in the sky, and I will leave with it." And it happened.

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