Friday, April 23, 2010

Celebrating Mark Twain

April 21, 2010 was the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, whose alias was Mark Twain. In honor of the occasion, since he, or rather, one of his books, played a major role in Something to Get Hung About and the title of one of his short stories was the basis of another episode, The Men That Corrupted Hadleyburg, I thought an entry dedicated to Twain would be appropriate.

Years ago, when I was in Elmira, New York, I visited the cemetery in which Mark Twain was buried. Of course I had read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huck Finn in school, so it was really cool to see his gravesite. I find it pretty amazing that Twain is still so popular today: His reflections about Americans and the way they live are just as true now as when he wrote them, and his humor is just as biting and accurate, too, one hundred years later.

That eighth graders in the school district where I worked still read Tom Sawyer in their English class, and that his stories and life have been the catalyst for so many other creative works, even a two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, is a testament to the power of his writing.

So let's raise a toast to a true American icon (dare I say idol?) and discover once again why Hannibal Heyes and millions of others enjoy the works of Mark Twain.

Official website of Mark Twain:

Description and images of Twain's house in Hartford, CT: