9780140434170

Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780140434170

  • ISBN10:

    0140434178

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1994-09-01
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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Summary

Mark Twain was a master of virtually every prose genre; in fables and stories, speeches and essays, he skillfully adapted, extended, or satirized literary conventions--guided only by his unruly imagination. These pieces display the variety of Twain's imaginative invention and his extraordinary emotional range.

Author Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimentaland also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called “the Lincoln of our literature.”

Tom Quirk is the Catherine Paine Middlebush Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the editor of the Penguin Classics editions of Mark Twain's Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches (1994) and Ambrose Bierce's Tales of Soldiers and Civilians and Other Stories (2000) and co-editor of The Portable American Realism Reader (1997). His other books include Coming to Grips with Huckleberry Finn (1993), Mark Twain: A Study of the Short Fiction (1997) and Nothing Abstract: Investigations in the American Literary Imagination (2001).

Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Suggestions for Further Reading xxxi
A Note on the Texts xxxiii
Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches
Letter from Carson City (1863)
3(5)
Washoe.---``Information Wanted'' (1864)
8(5)
Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog (1865)
13(7)
The Christmas Fireside: The Story of the Bad Little Boy That Bore a Charmed Life (1865)
20(4)
Barnum's First Speech in Congress (1867)
24(4)
Cannibalism in the Cars (1868)
28(9)
An Awful---Terrible Medieval Romance (1870)
37(8)
The Tomb of Adam from the Innocents Abroad (1869)
45(3)
Story of the Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper (1870)
48(5)
Map of Paris (1870)
53(6)
Buck Fanshawe's Funeral from Roughing It (1872)
59(9)
The Story of the Old Ram from Roughing It (1872)
68(5)
Life as I Find It (1873)
73(2)
Sociable Jimmy (1874)
75(5)
A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It (1874)
80(5)
An Encounter with an Interviewer (1874)
85(25)
from Old Times on the Mississippi (1875)
The Boys' Ambition
90(4)
I Want to Be a Cub-Pilot
94(4)
Perplexing Lessons
98(6)
Continued Perplexities
104(6)
The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut (1876)
110(17)
[Date, 1601] Conversation, as It Was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors (1876)
127(7)
Whittier Birthday Speech (1877)
134(6)
A Presidential Candidate (1879)
140(2)
The Babies. As They Comfort Us in Our Sorrows, Let Us Not Forget Them in Our Festivities (1879)
142(3)
A Cat Tale (ca. 1880)
145(11)
Jim Baker's Blue Jay Yarn from A Tramp Abroad (1880)
156(7)
The Private History of a Campaign That Failed (1885)
163(21)
Private History of the ``Jumping Frog'' Story (1894)
184(11)
Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar from Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)
195(5)
Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar from Following the Equator (1897)
200(6)
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (1899)
206(50)
My First Lie and How I Got Out of It (1899)
256(8)
To the Person Sitting in Darkness (1901)
264(18)
Corn-Pone Opinions (1901)
282(6)
A Dog's Tale (1903)
288(11)
Eve Speaks (ca. 1905)
299(3)
Seventieth Birthday Speech (1905)
302(6)
Early Days (1907)
308(15)
Little Bessie (ca. 1908-09)
323(11)
``The Turning Point of My Life'' (1910)
334(10)
The Death of Jean (1911)
344(15)
On Writing and Writers
Reply to the Editor of ``The Art of Authorship'' (1890)
359(2)
What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us (1895)
361(16)
Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences (1895)
377(14)
How to Tell a Story (1895)
391(6)
William Dean Howells (1906)
397(10)
My Literary Shipyard (1922)
407

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