Mark Twain: A Biographical Summary, Детальна інформація

Mark Twain: A Biographical Summary
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Yet the years were not unkindly to Mark Twain. They brought him sorrow, but they brought him likewise the capacity and opportunity for large enjoyment, and at the last they laid upon him a kind of benediction. Naturally impatient, he grew always more gentle, more generous, more tractable and considerate as the seasons passed. His final days may be said to have been spent in the tranquil light of a summer afternoon.

His own end followed by a few months that of his daughter. There were already indications that his heart was seriously affected, and soon after Jean's death he sought the warm climate of HYPERLINK "http://www.boondocksnet.com/twaintexts/biography/paine_bio290.html" Bermuda . But his malady made rapid progress, and in April he HYPERLINK "http://www.boondocksnet.com/twaintexts/biography/paine_bio292.html" returned to Stormfield . He HYPERLINK "http://www.boondocksnet.com/twaintexts/biography/paine_bio293.html" died there just a week later, April 21, 1910.

Any attempt to designate Mark Twain's place in the world's literary history would be presumptuous now. Yet I cannot help thinking that he will maintain his supremacy in the century that produced him. I think so because, of all the writers of that hundred years, his work was the most human -- his utterances went most surely to the mark. In the long analysis of the ages it is the truth that counts, and he never approximated, never compromised, but pronounced those absolute verities to which every human being of whatever rank must instantly respond.

His understanding of subjective human nature -- the vast, unwritten life within -- was simply amazing. Such knowledge he acquired at the fountainhead -- that is, from himself. He recognized in himself an extreme example of the human being with all the attributes of power and of weakness, and he made his exposition complete.

The world will long miss Mark Twain; his example and his teaching will be neither ignored nor forgotten. Genius defies the laws of perspective and looms larger as it recedes. The memory of Mark Twain remains to us a living and intimate presence that today, even more than in life, constitutes a stately moral bulwark reared against hypocrisy and superstition -- a mighty national menace to sham.

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