Mark Twain

Mark Twain
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was born in 1835, November 30, settlement of Florida (Missouri) died on April 21, 1910, Redding (Conn.), is buried in Elmira (NY). Mark Twain is an outstanding American writer, journalist and social activist. His work spans many genres - realism, romanticism, humor, satire, philosophical fiction, journalism, etc., and in all these genres he has consistently taken the position of the humanist and democrat.

At his peak, he was probably the most popular figure in America. William Faulkner wrote that he was "the first truly American writer, and we all since that - are his heirs, and Ernest Hemingway wrote that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.
As Mark Twain was born November 30, 1835 in the small town Florida (Missouri, USA); later, he joked that, having been born, he has increased its population by one percent. He was the third of four surviving children of John and Jane Clemens. When he was still a child, the family in search of a better life moved to the city Hannibal (Missouri). It was this town and its inhabitants were later described by Mark Twain in his most famous works, especially “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876).

After a brief acquaintance with the people's militia (an experience he recounted in 1885), Clemens in July 1861 moved from the war to the west. Experiences in the West formed Twain as a writer and became the basis of his second book. In Nevada, hoping to get rich, Sam Clemens became a miner to mine silver. He had to live in the camp for a long time with his fellow prospectors - another mode of living he later described in the literature. But Clemens was unable to become a successful prospector, he had to leave the mining of silver and get a job in the newspaper “Territorial Enterprise”, also in Virginia. In this paper he first used the pseudonym "Mark Twain". And in 1864 he moved to San Francisco, California, where he began writing for several newspapers at once. In 1865 Twain had the first literary success, his humorous story “The famous leaping frog of Calaveras” was reprinted across the country and was named "the best work of humorous literature produced in America at this point."

In spring of 1866 Mark Twain was sent by the newspaper «Sacramento Union» to Hawaii. In the course of travels he had to write letters about their adventures. Upon returning to San Francisco these letters were waiting for a resounding success. Colonel John Macomb, publisher of the newspaper «Alta California», offered Twain to go on a tour of the state, reading a fascinating lectures. Lectures immediately became wildly popular, and Twain, traveled the state, entertaining audiences and collecting a dollar from each student.

The biggest contribution of Mark Twain in American and world literature is the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Many believe it is generally the best literary work ever created in the U.S. Also such works are very popular: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court“ and a collection of documentaries “Life on the Mississippi”. Mark Twain began his career with humorous verses, and ended with the weird and almost vulgar chronicles of human vanity, hypocrisy and even murder.

Twain was a great orator. He helped to create and popularize American literature as such, with its characteristic themes and striking unusual language. After receiving recognition and fame, Mark Twain spent much time on finding young literary talents and helped them break through, using his influence and his publishing company.

The most prominent hobbies of Mark Twain were playing billiards and smoking pipes. Visitors of the Twain's house sometimes said that the in the cabinet of the writer was so dense tobacco smoke, that it was almost impossible to discern the owner himself. Twain was a prominent figure of the American Anti-Imperial League, which protested against the American annexation of the Philippines. In response to the massacre, which killed nearly 600 people, he wrote “Incident in the Philippines”, but the work has been published only in 1924, after 14 years after the death of Mark Twain.

From time to time some of Twain's works have been suppressed for various reasons. This is mainly due to active citizenship and social position of the writer. Some works that could offend the religious feelings of people, Twain has not published at the request of his family. For example, the “Mysterious Stranger” has remained unpublished until 1916.

The success of Mark Twain's smoothly started to fade. Until his death in 1910, he suffered the loss of three of the four children, and then died the beloved wife Olivia. In his later years, Twain was in deep depression, but he was still able to joke. In response to the erroneous obituary in the «New York Journal» he uttered his famous phrase: “Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated”. Financial position Twain also deteriorated: his publishing company went bankrupt, and he put a lot of money into a new model of the printing press, which has never been put into production; plagiarists have stolen the rights of several of his books. Twain died on April 21, 1910 from angina pectoris. A year before his death, he said: "I came in 1835 with Halley's Comet, a year later, it flies again, and I expect to leave with it." And so it happened.

Works cited

Esther Lombardi. Mark Twain's Life. 2004. Web. 27 August 2010.
Mark Twain Biography. 2010. Web. 27 August 2010.

Twain’s life and works. 2009. Web. 27 August 2010.

Mark Twain 8.7 of 10 on the basis of 4199 Review.