"Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven" is a short story written by American writer Mark Twain. It first appeared in print in Harper's Magazine in December 1907 and January 1908, and was published in book form with some revisions in 1909. This was the last story published by Twain during his life.
Presents a two-volume examination of the life and writings of Mark Twain including detailed synopses of his works, explanations of literary terms, biographies of friends and family, and social and historical influences.
"A model reference work that can be used with profit and delight by general readers as well as by more advanced students of Twain. Highly recommended." - Library Journal The Routledge Encyclopedia of Mark Twain includes more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries that cover a full variety of topics on this major American writer's life, intellectual milieu, literary career, and achievements. Because so much of Twain's travel narratives, essays, letters, sketches, autobiography, journalism and fiction reflect his personal experience, particular attention is given to the delicate relationship between art and life, between artistic interpretations and their factual source. This comprehensive resource includes information on: Twain's life and times: the author's childhood in Missouri and apprenticeship as a riverboat pilot, early career as a journalist in the West, world travels, friendships with well-known figures, reading and education, family life and career Complete Works: including novels, travel narratives, short stories, sketches, burlesques, and essays Significant characters, places, and landmarks Recurring concerns, themes or concepts: such as humor, language; race, war, religion, politics, imperialism, art and science Twain's sources and influences. Useful for students, researchers, librarians and teachers, this volume features a chronology, a special appendix section tracking the poet's genealogy, and a thorough index. Each entry also includes a bibliography for further study.
For Mark Twain, it was love at first landfall. Samuel Clemens first encountered the Bermuda Islands in 1867 on a return voyage from the Holy Land and found them much to his liking. One of the most isolated spots in the world, Bermuda offered the writer a refuge from his harried and sometimes sad existence on the mainland, and this island paradise called him back another seven times. Clemens found that Bermuda’s beauty, pace, weather, and company were just the medicine he needed, and its seafaring culture with few connections to the outside world appealed to his love of travel by water. This book is the first comprehensive study of Clemens’s love affair with Bermuda, a vivid depiction of a celebrated author on recurring vacations. Donald Hoffmann has culled and clarified passages from Mark Twain’s travel pieces, letters, and unpublished autobiographical dictation—with cross-references to his fiction and infrequently cited short pieces—to create a little-known view of the author at leisure on his fantasy island. Mark Twain in Paradise sheds light on both Clemens’s complex character and the topography and history of the islands. Hoffmann has plumbed the voluminous Mark Twain scholarship and Bermudian archives to faithfully re-create turn-of-the-century Bermuda, supplying historical and biographical background to give his narrative texture and depth. He offers insight into Bermuda’s natural environment, traditional stone houses, and romantic past, and he presents dozens of illustrations, both vintage and new, showing that much of what Mark Twain described can still be seen today. Hoffmann also provides insight into the social circles Clemens moved in—and sometimes collected around himself. When visiting the islands, he rubbed shoulders with the likes of socialist Upton Sinclair and multimillionaire Henry H. Rogers; with Woodrow Wilson and his lover, socialite Mary Peck; as well as with the young girls to whom he enjoyed playing grandfather. “You go to heaven if you want to,” Mark Twain wrote from Bermuda in 1910 during his long last visit. “I’d druther stay here.” And because much of what Clemens enjoyed in the islands is still available to experience today, visitors to Bermuda can now have America’s favorite author as their guide. Mark Twain in Paradise is an unexpected addition to the vast literature by and about Mark Twain and a work of travel literature unlike any other.
Detailed, scholarly study examines the ideas that developed between 1750 and 1900 regarding the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, including those of Kant, Herschel, Voltaire, Lowell, many others. 16 illustrations.
Does heaven exist? If so, what is it like? And how does one get in? Throughout history, painters, poets, philosophers, pastors, and many ordinary people have pondered these questions. Perhaps no other topic captures the popular imagination quite like heaven. Gary Scott Smith examines how Americans from the Puritans to the present have imagined heaven. He argues that whether Americans have perceived heaven as reality or fantasy, as God's home or a human invention, as a source of inspiration and comfort or an opiate that distracts from earthly life, or as a place of worship or a perpetual playground has varied largely according to the spirit of the age. In the colonial era, conceptions of heaven focused primarily on the glory of God. For the Victorians, heaven was a warm, comfortable home where people would live forever with their family and friends. Today, heaven is often less distinctively Christian and more of a celestial entertainment center or a paradise where everyone can reach his full potential. Drawing on an astounding array of sources, including works of art, music, sociology, psychology, folklore, liturgy, sermons, poetry, fiction, jokes, and devotional books, Smith paints a sweeping, provocative portrait of what Americans-from Jonathan Edwards to Mitch Albom-have thought about heaven.
For nearly two decades before Mark Twain published his finest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was refining his craft and winning tremendous popularity with his short stories and sketches. This richly entertaining and comprehensive collection presents sixty-five of the very best of Mark Twain’s short pieces, from the classic frontier sketch “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” to the richly imaginative fable “Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.” Compiled by Pulitzer Prize–winning Twain scholar and biographer, Justin Kaplan, this collection represents some of Mark Twain’s wittiest and most insightful writing.
Myth is oral, collective, sacred, and timeless. Fantasy is a modern literary mode and a popular entertainment. Yet the two have always been inextricably intertwined. Stories about Stories examines fantasy as an arena in which different ways of understanding myth compete and new relationships with myth are worked out. The book offers a comprehensive history of the modern fantastic as well as an argument about its nature and importance. Specific chapters cover the origins of fantasy in the Romantic search for localized myths, fantasy versions of the Modernist turn toward the primitive, the post-Tolkienian exploration of world mythologies, post-colonial reactions to the exploitation of indigenous sacred narratives by Western writers, fantasies based in Christian belief alongside fundamentalist attempts to stamp out the form, and the emergence of ever-more sophisticated structures such as metafiction through which to explore mythic constructions of reality.
This new edition of Southern Writers assumes its distinguished predecessor's place as the essential reference on literary artists of the American South. Broadly expanded and thoroughly revised, it boasts 604 entries-nearly double the earlier edition's-written by 264 scholars. For every figure major and minor, from the venerable and canonical to the fresh and innovative, a biographical sketch and chronological list of published works provide comprehensive, concise, up-to-date information. Here in one convenient source are the South's novelists and short story writers, poets and dramatists, memoirists and essayists, journalists, scholars, and biographers from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. What constitutes a "southern writer" is always a matter for debate. Editors Joseph M. Flora and Amber Vogel have used a generous definition that turns on having a significant connection to the region, in either a personal or literary sense. New to this volume are younger writers who have emerged in the quarter century since the dictionary's original publication, as well as older talents previously unknown or unacknowledged. For almost every writer found in the previous edition, a new biography has been commissioned. Drawn from the very best minds on southern literature and covering the full spectrum of its practitioners, Southern Writers is an indispensable reference book for anyone intrigued by the subject.
Satirist, novelist, and keen observer of the American scene, Mark Twain remains one of the world's best-loved writers. This delightful collection of Twain?s favorite and most memorable writings includes selected tales and sketches such as The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, How I Edited an Agricultural Journal Once, Jim Baker's Blue-Jay Yarn, and A True Story. It also features excerpts from his novels and travel books (including Roughing It, The Innocents Abroad, and Life on the Mississippi, among others; autobiographical and polemical writings; as well as selected letters and speeches. The collection also reprints the complete text of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, including the often omitted raftsmen passage. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Like Shaking Hands with God details a collaborative journey on the art of writing undertaken by two distinguished writers separated by age, race, upbringing, and education, but sharing common goals and aspirations. Rarely have two writers spoken so candidly about the intersection where the lives they live meet the art they practice. That these two writers happen to be Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer makes this a historic and joyous occasion. The setting was a bookstore in New York City, the date Thursday, October 1, 1998. Before a crowd of several hundred, Vonnegut and Stringer took up the challenge of writing books that would make a difference and the concomitant challenge of living from day to day. As Vonnegut said afterward, ""It was a magical evening."" A book for anyone interested in why the simple act of writing things down can be more important than the amount of memory in our computers.
At once a romantic history of a mighty river, an autobiographical account of Twain's early steamboat days, and a storehouse of humorous anecdotes and sketches, here is the raw material from which Mark Twain wrote his finest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River, was host to riverboat travelers from around the world, providing a vigorous and variable atmosphere for the young Samuel Clemens to absorb. Clemens became a riverboat pilot and even chose his pen name—Mark Twain—from a term boatmen would call out signifying water depth at two fathoms, meaning safe clearance for travel. It was from this background that Life on the Mississippi emerged. It is an epochal record of America’s growth, a stirring remembrance of her vanished past. And it earned for its author his first recognition as a serious writer. With an Introduction by Justin Kaplan and an Afterword by John Seelye
The University of California Press is delighted to announce the new publication of this three-act play by one of America's most important and well-loved writers. A highly entertaining comedy that has never appeared in print or on stage, Is He Dead? is finally available to the wide audience Mark Twain wished it to reach. Written in 1898 in Vienna as Twain emerged from one of the deepest depressions of his life, the play shows its author's superb gift for humor operating at its most energetic. The text of Is He Dead?, based on the manuscript in the Mark Twain Papers, appears here together with an illuminating essay by renowned Mark Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin and with Barry Moser's original woodcut illustrations in a volume that will surely become a treasured addition to the Mark Twain legacy. Richly intermingling elements of burlesque, farce, and social satire with a wry look at the world market in art, Is He Dead? centers on a group of poor artists in Barbizon, France, who stage the death of a friend to drive up the price of his paintings. In order to make this scheme succeed, the artists hatch some hilarious plots involving cross-dressing, a full-scale fake funeral, lovers' deceptions, and much more. Mark Twain was fascinated by the theater and made many attempts at playwriting, but this play is certainly his best. Is He Dead? may have been too "out there" for the Victorian 1890s, but today's readers will thoroughly enjoy Mark Twain's well-crafted dialogue, intriguing cast of characters, and above all, his characteristic ebullience and humor. In Shelley Fisher Fishkin's estimation, it is "a champagne cocktail of a play--not too dry, not too sweet, with just the right amount of bubbles and buzz."
Once upon a time all literature was fantasy, set in a mythical past when magic existed, animals talked, and the gods took an active hand in earthly affairs. As the mythical past was displaced in Western estimation by the historical past and novelists became increasingly preoccupied with the present, fantasy was temporarily marginalized until the late 20th century, when it enjoyed a spectacular resurgence in every stratum of the literary marketplace. Stableford provides an invaluable guide to this sequence of events and to the current state of the field. The chronology tracks the evolution of fantasy from the origins of literature to the 21st century. The introduction explains the nature of the impulses creating and shaping fantasy literature, the problems of its definition and the reasons for its changing historical fortunes. The dictionary includes cross-referenced entries on more than 700 authors, ranging across the entire historical spectrum, while more than 200 other entries describe the fantasy subgenres, key images in fantasy literature, technical terms used in fantasy criticism, and the intimately convoluted relationship between literary fantasies, scholarly fantasies, and lifestyle fantasies. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography that ranges from general textbooks and specialized accounts of the history and scholarship of fantasy literature, through bibliographies and accounts of the fantasy literature of different nations, to individual author studies and useful websites.
This spectacular photographic history traces the parallel development of two two contiguous towns in southern Connecticut: Redding and Easton. Both towns were originally part of the Colonial town of Fairfield and developed as marginal farming communities. Both towns experienced an incipient industrial revolution, which never matured, and both later became retreats for summer visitors and prominent literary figures. In the years after World War II, the two towns evolved into suburban communities. Today, they share not only a common history but also a regional high school. Redding and Easton highlights each period in the development of the two towns. The book emphasizes Georgetown, which continued to be an industrial enclave long after other industry in the town died out. It devotes a chapter to literary figures, such as Mark Twain, Edna Ferber, and Ida Tarbell, who migrated to these rural towns at the end of the nineteenth century and gave them the image of a rural literary retreat. Redding and Easton recognizes the prominent citizens who created a summer colony that attracted the rich and famous from all over the Northeast. The book also stresses the everyday events and special occasions that marked the nature of these towns in the twentieth century.
One of the most famous travel books ever written by an American, The Innocents Abroad is Mark Twain’s irreverent and incisive commentary on nineteenth century Americans encountering the Old World. Come along for the ride as Twain and his unsuspecting travel companions visit the Azores, Tangiers, Paris, Rome, the Vatican, Genoa, Gibraltar, Odessa, Constantinople, Cairo, the Holy Land and other locales renowned in history. No person or place is safe from Twain’s sharp wit as it impales both the conservative and the liberal, the Old World and the New. He uses these contrasts to “find out who we as Americans are,” notes Leslie A. Fiedler. But his travelogue demonstrates that, in our attempt to understand ourselves, we must first find out what we are not. With an Introduction Michael Meyer and an Afterword by Leslie A. Fiedler