Friday, 30 November 2012

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work

The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a popular MetaFilter topic, was born 177 years ago today (November 30th 1835) in Missouri. The printer, riverboat pilot, game designer, journalist, lecturer, technology investor, gold miner, publisher and patent holder wrote short stories, essays, novels and non-fiction under the pen name Mark Twain. This included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (recently adapted into a musical), one of the top five challenged books of the 1990s, published in 1884-85 to a mixed reception and with an ending that still causes debate.



In his life, Clemens ... received a total of three patents. Twain spent some of his summers in Elmira, New York. His study is now on the campus of Elmira College. Its original location, Quarry Farm, is out of the city a little ways and can also be visited. In more recent summers the Mark Twain Musical Drama was staged in the round, where the college hockey team plays. He also presaged the local food movement.

The extensively quoted author of the Tom Sawyer stories, Mark's work and life are still the subject of research, imitation, analysis, interpretation (disturbing claymation) and inspiration (nsfw).
Mark lived his last few years in Redding, Connecticut, where he donated many books to the local public library association. Photographed in 1861, 1902, with family, as a lecturer and with various friends.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Mark died on April 21st 1910 and is immortalised in Google doodles, stamps, benches and forthcoming commemorative coins. His works are widely available online in various digital formats, for ebook readers and at your local public library and bookshop.

He also liked cats.

(Extended version of MetaFilter Front Page Post. Additional links, text by knile, lumpenprole and three blind mice.)

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