Mark Twain on perseverance (sort of)

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Tue May 05, 2015 3:23 pm Post

A new collection of stories by Mark Twain has been uncovered at UC Berkeley. They were written when he was 29 and — maybe — contemplating suicide because he wasn't making it as a "serious" writer.

“It’s really a crisis time for him,” Bob Hirst (editor of the UC Berkeley’s Mark Twain project) said. “He’s going to be 30 on 30 November 1865, and for someone not to have chosen a career by that time in this period was quite unusual.”

Twain had been resisting becoming a humorist, according to Hirst, because at the time humor was considered a lower order of writing. He was in debt and drinking heavily, and even wrote to his brother that he was contemplating suicide, saying: “If I do not get out of debt in three months – pistols or poison for one – exit me.” ... d-berkeley

You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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Tue May 05, 2015 5:18 pm Post

Read his "Burlesque Autobiography". It is all right in there. Actually talks about how much he disliked the idea of being a humorist. I wasn't sure how much was "real" till now though.

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 24 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09


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Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:00 am Post

Yeah, I can't remember which one, but in one of his Autobiographies (it might have been Chapters from My Autobiography) he wrote that he attempted suicide, but couldn't go through it. I can't find the quote now, but if from what I recall it ended with something along the lines of "though I have never regretted the attempt."

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Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:24 pm Post

I read the Guardian article with interest, and the long-lost stories as well.

It was such a pleasant surprise to discover more writing from Twain, when so much time has passed!

Besides, Twain has interesting thoughts not only on city government or property issues (as it was revealed in these old articles). He had his own opinion on a lot of serious issues, such as authorship or plagiarism. :roll:

"The kernel, the soul, let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances is plagiarism."

It's hard not to be impressed by the delight and power of his words!

You can read more here:

That article is really worth to be read :!:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - Charles Caleb Colton

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Thu May 24, 2018 10:16 am Post

The idea of a tortured artist might be glamorized in movies and stories, but it is really surprising to see so many famous writers had suicidal thoughts - Hemmingway, Virginia Wolf, Sylvia Plath and now Mark Twain.