Mark Twain (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri to John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton Clemens. He was an American writer, novelist and humorist.
Biography and Career :
As a teenager Mark Twain worked as an apprentice printer. When he was sixteen, he began writing humorous articles and newspaper sketches. When he was eighteen, he left Hannibal, working as a printer in New York At the age of 22, Twain returned to Missouri and worked as a riverboat pilot.
He is the first great representative of the American frontier realism. He is the creator of the American picaresque novel - in the name of Don Quixote - and of the hero as a Picaro, all happening "on the road". He is the creator of an authentic native idiom and famous fo
r his humor seen as a vigorous desire for social justice and human attitude. T.S. Elliot called Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
, "an innovation, a new discovery in the English language, an entire book written in the natural prose rhythm of conversation". This linguistic innovation is certainly one of the features to which E. M. Hemingway referred when he said that "all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn".
Clemens married, and his finely-honed abilities earned him international renown as a writer, lecturer and traveler. Along the way, he composed some of the best-loved and most widely known literature of 19th-century America. As the chancellor of Oxford University told an aged Clemens in 1907: "Most amiable and charming sir, you shake the sides of the whole world with your merriment".
Mark Twain first wrote for a newspaper in Nevada and then in San Francisco. During this period he wrote humorous sketches, the most famous of which being The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. But Twain's greatest contribution to American literature is generally considered to be his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
He wrote novels principally The Guilded Age (1873), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) and The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)] short stories, speeches, and essays. He also wrote some autobiographical works, including The Innocents Abroad (1869), A Tramp Abroad (1880), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and Mark Twain's Autobiography.
Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910. Upon hearing of Twain's death, President Taft said, "Mark Twain gave pleasure--real intellectual enjoyment--to millions of peoples, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come... His humor was American, but he was nearly as much appreciated by Englishmen and people of other countries as by his own countrymen. He has made an enduring part of American literature."
All in all, many American writers have acknowledged the influence of Twain's books on their prose and his raising of humor to the level of high literary achievement. His humor and a language he uses are literary devices meant to point out errors and sad facts in American life, though he never failed to express his hope in a better future.
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