Centenary of the death of a hero and a legend – Mark Twain

April 21, 2010 |

Today is the centenary of the death of Samuel Langhorne Clemens – the incomparable Mark Twain.  There are so many sites devoted to him, his quotes and travels that I can’t possibly do justice to him.

Along with George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway he is my literary hero.  A master of the written word and no respecter of tradition.  That is as high a praise as I can give anyone.

Huckleberry Finn is the quintessential perfect American novel.  When I read it in Year 10 I knew I was experiencing something special.  I have returned to it every couple of years and get something new every time.  Next to Hemingway at his best it is the most effective prose I have read.

Where Mark Twain soars is his ability to skewer the pompous and satirises the rest.  In this time of over earnest chest beating, political correctness in its current guise and bleating about morals and standards we are desperately in need of another Twain.

Vale Mark Twain.

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