Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Although I have to confess that I haven't read any of his books, except for parts of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I have always admired the profound wisdom and humor of Mark Twain.

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), Twain is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Twain was a friend to presidents, artists, and European royalty, and his keen wit and incisive satire earned praise from critics and peers. Upon his death he was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age," and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."

Just for fun, I'd like to share some of his "down home" wit and wisdom with you today.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

The educated Southerner has no use for an 'R,' except at the beginning of a word.

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

"Classic" — A book which people praise and don't read.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them, than to have them and not deserve them.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

What a wise man he was! After reading those quotations, don't you wish you could just sit a spell with him and listen to him talk? If you would like to know more about Mr. Twain and his fascinating life, you can click here.


Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I just love Mark Twain....he was a great humorist. I really would love to set and chat with him.

Carolyn said...

One of my favorite authors. His quote about having a great many troubles, most of which never happened always stuck with me as so true, since I am a "what if" personality.

Your pictures of the trumpet vines were just beautiful! They are my husbands favorite (I think because they bloom around hunting season)
I think most folks pass them by without ever seeing their beauty.
Have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

I love Mark Twain. His wit and humor are not to be denied.

racheld said...

HUCKLEBERRY FINN was one of the first books I ever read, right after Tarkington's PENROD AND SAM. I'm sure I didn't understand a lot of it, but enjoyed reading it again on several occasions, as well as a lot of his other works.

One of the most interesting evenings I ever spent was when a theater class was invited to watch Hal Holbrook get into makeup and into character.

He rose, picked up that big white hat, and swept a flourish toward the exit, "Ladies and Gentlemen---Curtain Time!"

Made me want to go re-read every Twain I'd ever seen.

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Good Morning Janie,
This was such a great read, I enjoyed each and everyone, I am trying to pick my favorite, it is hard. Mr Clemens was a brilliant man. Of all the authors I have read, he stands out as one of the best. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your day.

Deb said...

I like the last line...wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been....

Tonja said...

I wasn't much of a fan of Twain, but loved his quotes! Alex, however, was a big fan of his writings. He had a series of all of his books read aloud on books on tape. He would listen for hours! I thelped to distract him from his pain. And, I would hear them that way. Either while I was in the kitchen (right next to his bedroom) or when I would lay down with him to rub his head.
Actually I 'heard' lots of books I had no intention of reading...the complete works of JRR Tolkien, and a way too long series by Douglas Adams...sci fi stuff...and several others!