Mark Twain (1835-1910), often called “the father of American literature”, is one of the most noted and popular authors of all times. He is known for his keen wit and humor, and is extensively quoted.
Following are some interesting anecdotes:
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One day during a lecture tour, Mark Twain entered a local barber shop for a shave. This, Twain told the barber, was his first visit to the town.
“You’ve chosen a good time to come,” he declared.
“Oh?” Twain replied.
“Mark Twain is going to lecture here tonight. You’ll want to go, I suppose?”
“I guess so…”
“Have you bought your ticket yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“Well, it’s sold out, so you’ll have to stand.”
“Just my luck,” said Twain with a sigh. “I always have to stand when that fellow lectures!”
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Among his volumes of fan mail, Twain often found photographs of men claiming to be his double. By way of reply, he would send the following form letter:
“My dear Sir, I thank you very much for your letter and your photograph, In my opinion you are more like me than any other of my numerous doubles. I may even say that you resemble me more closely than I do myself. In fact, I intend to use your picture to shave by. Yours thankfully, S. Clemens.”
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Mark Twain did much of his writing in bed, irrespective of the time. One day, his wife entered the bedroom to inform him that a reporter had arrived to conduct an interview.
When Twain made no effort to get out of bed, she intervened: “Don’t you think it will be a little embarrassing,” she rhetorically remarked, “for him to find you in bed?” “Why, if you think so, Livy,” Twain rhetorically replied, “we could have the other bed made up for him.”
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One day during his tenure as the editor of a small Missouri newspaper, Mark Twain received a letter from a reader who had found a spider in his paper. He wondered whether this portended good or bad luck.
“Finding a spider in your paper,” Twain replied, “is neither good luck nor bad. The spider was merely looking over our paper to see which merchant was not advertising so that he could go to that store, spin his web across the door, and lead a life of undisturbed peace ever afterward.”
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One night a group of Mark Twain’s friends in New York, having recognized the date as that of his birth, decided to send him a suitable greeting. Unfortunately, the globe-trotting traveler was away and no one knew where he might be reached. After some deliberation, a letter was simply sent off with the address: “Mark Twain, God Knows Where.” Several weeks later a letter arrived from Twain: “He did.”
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