also known as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born November
30, 1835 and died April 21, 1910. That means 2010 marked both
the 175th anniversary of his birth, and the 100th anniversary
of his death.
(as if we needed another reason) 2010 also marked the 125th
anniversary of his most oft-quoted and famous work, Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn.
of the nation's most insightful writers, Mark Twain endures
as a unique wit and an American original.
• "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely." Innocents Abroad
• "All kings is mostly rapscallions." The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
• "There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." Following the Equator
• "Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so." Mark Twain's Notebook
• "Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God." Corn Pone Opinions
• "There are three kinds of lies -- lies, damned lies, and statistics." Autobiography
• "When angry, count four; when very angry, swear." The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
• "Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination." The Mysterious Stranger
Finally, readers who have stuck closely to the author throughout
his 40-year career are usually rewarded with an added treat. What
Is Man?, for example, is regarded by Twain fans as going beyond satirical to almost reach the level of
Zen mastery. His most grown-up and biting satires also include his take on religion (Reflections)
and, of course, politics (The
Battle Hymn of the Republic, Updated) in which he often arrived at the truth far more accurately than newspapers or government leaders.
Interestingly, Mark Twain's most quotable quote "Life is short. Break the rules" has never officially been attributed to him. But it sure sounds like him.
Elsewhere around the Web, learn more about the quotable Mark Twain with a deeper dig into his life and work in words and photos...
Mark Twain - Wikipedia - The complete biography including his early life, writing career, a discussion on his outspoken religious and political views, bibliography, related photos, references and resources.
Twain Project - For serious Twain fans and scholars
including citable references, photos, unpublished letters,
a selection of biographies and related resources.
Twain quotations - The quotable Twain over dozens
of pages, browseable by subject matter, including rare newspaper
articles and special features, related resources.