Mark Twain

Mark Twain, Writing Coach and Role Model by Ben Tarnoff

At twenty-five, I started to write a book about Mark Twain at twenty-five. His life was more exciting than mine. By that age he’d piloted steamboats on the Mississippi, witnessed the start of the Civil War, and fled his native Missouri for the faraway frontier of Nevada. There he met outlaws, hustlers, hunters, and homesteaders, and dodged bullets and bowie knives. His world was alive with incident and intrigue.

My life, on the other hand, consisted of long hours at the New York Public Library, and choosing what kind of sandwich to buy for lunch. To say I envied Twain would be an understatement. He appeared to represent an actual historical instance of a phenomenon that had always seemed theoretically possible but which I had never encountered: a non-neurotic writer. He was too busy riding shotgun on stagecoaches through the Sierras to sit at a desk agonizing over adverbs. When he had a beef with another writer or editor or publisher, which was often, he uncorked an unholy flood of invective on their heads and, in at least one case, challenged the object of his ire to a duel. He was pure literary id, and I loved him for it.

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Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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