MARK TWAIN LETTERS FROM THE EARTH PDF
Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth is a brilliant and incredibly imaginative take on the story of the Bible itself. Starting with the creation of the. This document was prepared for Arthur's Classic Novels from borrowed Naked Word etext. Markup is by Arthur Wendover. Jul. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
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Letters From The Earth by Mark Twain originally written in , according to Mark Twain A to . the earth, yet is quite sure he will like them in heaven. Isn't it. It makes me laugh. He was sarcastic and insightful. A more polite Hitchens. He dissects the curious idiocy of the biblical account and shines a. Letters from the Earth is a posthumously published work of celebrated American author Mark Twain (–) collated by Bernard DeVoto. It comprises essays written during a difficult time in Twain's life (–09), . retrieved ; ^ "Rockefeller Gift To Kill 'Hookworm'" (PDF), The New York Times, p. 1, October.
Initially, another of his daughters, Clara Clemens , objected to its publication in March ,  probably because of its controversial and iconoclastic views on religion, claiming it presented a "distorted"  view of her father. Henry Nash Smith helped change her position in Letters from the Earth consists of a series of commentaries in essay and short story form. Many of these pieces express Twain's discomfort with and disdain for Christianity, both as a theological position and a lifestyle. The title story consists of eleven letters written by the archangel Satan to archangels Gabriel and Michael ,  about his observations on the curious proceedings of earthly life and the nature of Man's religions. Other pieces in the book include a morality tale told as a bedtime discussion with Twain's children, Susy and Clara, about a family of cats, and an essay explaining why an anaconda is morally superior to Man.
Retrieved 2 August UPI published November 21, , p. The Stranger. Retrieved 4 September Mark Twain. The Gilded Age: Is He Dead? Colonel Sellers Colonel Sellers as a Scientist. The Musical. Clemens father Orion Clemens brother. Jap Herron.
It is written on vellum, and is some four or five thousand years old. Nothing but bucksheesh can purchase a sight. Its fame is somewhat dimmed in these latter days, because of the doubts so many authors of Palestine travels have felt themselves privileged to cast upon it.
Speaking of this MSS. The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking. Behind him stretched the illimitable continent of heaven, steeped in a glory of light and color; before him rose the black night of Space, like a wall. His mighty bulk towered rugged and mountain-like into the zenith, and His divine head blazed there like a distant sun. At His feet stood three colossal figures, diminished to extinction, almost, by contrast -- archangels -- their heads level with His ankle-bone.
In time, the Deity perceived that death was a mistake; a mistake, in that it was insufficient; insufficient, for the reason that while it was an admirable agent for the inflicting of misery upon the survivor, it allowed the dead person himself to escape from all further persecution in the blessed refuge of the grave.
This was not satisfactory. A way must be conceived to pursue the dead beyond the tomb. View 1 comment. I could write a long review of this amazing and shocking book. Mark like I've never seen him before; the Mark I always wanted to hear more from and did not find in his stories of mischievous childhoods in the Mississippi. But i won't write that long review, instead, i will sub it up in the following sentence: Man is a mistake. The human race, basically, is the most horrible species that ever dwelled this earth.
We kill, torture, pass judgment, discriminate, and do the worst things possible with I could write a long review of this amazing and shocking book.
We kill, torture, pass judgment, discriminate, and do the worst things possible with the excuse that we are superior, which is obviously a very wrong statement.
But whose fault is it that we're so horrible? Our Father in heaven, who hasn't spared us all the pains possible, that even an erring human father would not want his children to go through. Are we God's mistake? Twain will tell you all about it, through the narration of Satan, Eve, and many others including himself. Mar 14, Ben rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This book is a varied collection of Mark Twain's later writings, from a period traditionally overlooked by American students but intensely scrutinized in Europe.
The titular "Letters from the Earth" series include wry and mildly heretical musings on Biblical lore, Christian cosmology, and human nature in general. These were indeed the basis for a rather creepy children's Claymation TV show in the 80s called "The Adventures of Mark Twain," the sort of thing that nowadays would get program directo This book is a varied collection of Mark Twain's later writings, from a period traditionally overlooked by American students but intensely scrutinized in Europe.
These were indeed the basis for a rather creepy children's Claymation TV show in the 80s called "The Adventures of Mark Twain," the sort of thing that nowadays would get program directors drawn and quartered in a megachurch parking lot.
Feb 23, Ana-Maria rated it it was amazing. Reason brings the courage to take a fresh look at myths and stories in the Bible that have been used as justification for mankind actions for centuries.
With a fresh view and a sharp mind, M. Twain provoked me bitter smile after bitter smile while reading Satan's letters. But a first step to break the spell has been taken, so hopefully there is no coming back to dogma and superstition afterwards Jan 06, Darrell rated it really liked it Shelves: The way Mark Twain pokes fun at Christianity, it's no wonder these writings were originally censored.
In Letters from the Earth, Satan reports back to heaven in a series of epistles making light of religion. He explains that Noah and his family were all disease ridden, since God's command to preserve two of every animal also applied to microbes. God, in his infinite wisdom, saw that diseases such as syphilis would be necessary in the world to come. I've got to say, picturing Noah going around an The way Mark Twain pokes fun at Christianity, it's no wonder these writings were originally censored.
I've got to say, picturing Noah going around and intentionally contracting diseases is quite hilarious. Also included in this collection are the highly imaginative Papers of the Adam Family where Twain presents us with extracts from Methuselah's diary and Eve's autobiography. Since people lived to be several hundred years old at the beginning of the Bible, it was not uncommon for a man to meet his great great great great great great great grandson, although with thousands of descendants, he wouldn't be likely to remember his name.
Eve is a scientist and tells us of Adam's discovery that water always runs downhill. This collection is really a mixed bag. A Cat-Tale is a bedtime story full of puns that Twain told his daughters. There's an essay included in which he points out why Cooper is a poor writer using examples from The Last of the Mohicans, another essay detailing why Twain considered the French more savage than the Comanches, a travelogue from his time in England, and an appeal to use phonetic spelling.
He pokes fun at books on etiquette by detailing the proper way for a gentleman to rescue a lady from a fire. In a piece title The Damned Human Race, he explains why humans are lower than animals when it comes to morality. The highlight for me was The Great Dark, a surreal story which would have made Kafka proud, in which Twain details life aboard a ship traveling across a microscope slide.
Microscopic creatures appear as giant monsters to the crew. Though they are traveling across just a single drop of water, it takes them years of traveling in the dark until they get to the bright spot illuminated by the microscope. Dec 20, James rated it really liked it Shelves: This collection of largely unpublished material is the most impressive contribution to books by Mark Twain after "The Mysterious Stranger" of , with which it shares an imaginative grandeur.
Mark Twain thought, while he was alive, he was going to terrify the world with a metaphysical masterpiece, "What Is Man? However, he included similar ideas in both "The Mysterious Stranger" and Letters From the Earth , and they are both better books as they demo This collection of largely unpublished material is the most impressive contribution to books by Mark Twain after "The Mysterious Stranger" of , with which it shares an imaginative grandeur.
However, he included similar ideas in both "The Mysterious Stranger" and Letters From the Earth , and they are both better books as they demonstrate better the genius of his imaginative skills.
The cosmic irony of The Mysterious Stranger , in which Satan, a nephew of the "great" Satan, visits a group of boys in the Austrian village of Eseldorf really Hannibal, Mo. This irony, almost savagely pressed into the consciousness of the reader, gives range, strength and splendor to the present volume. The story of the publication of "Letters From the Earth" needs to be told. It was put together as a book by the late Bernard DeVoto, then editor of the Mark Twain papers, as long ago as Parts of it were even published in the magazines, but the book was delayed for almost a quarter of a century by the objection of Clara Clemens that the papers present a "distorted" view of her father's ideas.
In this interval Bernard DeVoto has died, but Clara Clemens' scruples have been overcome, and Henry Nash Smith, who is the present editor of the Mark Twain papers, has got the book out. I picked it up many years ago in an inexpensive paperback version which I have referred to again and again to this day.
This edition includes bibliographical notes by Bernard DeVoto. Nov 15, Vani rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can't even write anything that could adequately describe how brilliant this is, and it's because I'm not Mark Twain.
This is a collection of writings that Mark Twain didn't publish in his lifetime. The best parts were the sections where Mark Twain translated the ancient diaries of the Adam Family as in Adam and Eve. Here is an excerpt from the conversation Adam and Eve had after they were forbidden the fruit What is good?
How should I know? I have never seen the thing, how am I to form any conception of it? Let us eat of it; we shall die, and then we shall know what it is, and not have any more bother about it. They followed it and he named it Pterodactyl. I thought it was pretty witty stuff. There were some other sections that weren't quite as good, but overall I'm glad I read it and wish that Mark Twain was around to write about stuff happening nowadays.
Now I'll have to check out some more of his stuff that wasn't required reading in school. Aug 07, Richard rated it really liked it. This is bitter Twain at his darkest. In essence he takes the view that Nature is so filled with irrational horror and pain that existence is hardly worth having. Humankind is not much better as its members thrive on stupid contradictions and cruelty.
The Bible is filled with thousands of lies and Jesus Christ was himself a sadistic liar. In such a cosmos God is incredibly stupid, evil, or non-existent. That last is the most comforting thought as it at least allows human beings to concentrate on This is bitter Twain at his darkest. That last is the most comforting thought as it at least allows human beings to concentrate on their own survival without worrying about meaningless idiotic rituals.
There is no doubt but that Twain is deeply sensitive to the very real terrors and pain of life and these are challenges that everyone must face. Unfortunately, Twain thought that humans were merely complicated automatons. If that is the case, they haven't free will and their ability to freely change anything is questionable.
So don't look for answers in this challenging piece. But then Twain wasn't trying to provide an answer; he wanted to force the reader to confront the ethical dilemma of existence. Sep 14, Miramira Endevall rated it it was amazing Shelves: He observes certain facts.
For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can't overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine parts that can be put to bed to her.
The Creator intended the wo Excerpt: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man. Letters from the Earth was fantastic. I loved the writing and the way that Mark Twain shed light on the hypocrisy of religion and the human notion of God. After that section however, the book became very dull very quickly.
As this book is a collection of his writings, I felt that a lot of it did not flow together. If things were tied together tighter, my rating would have been higher but I just found everything after Letters from the Earth to be highly boring.
Feb 03, Eric Burgos rated it it was amazing. An amazing book that gives the reader a different perspective about religious characters while giving the reader the feeling that these fictional characters are real. You can never go wrong with Mark Twain.
Letters from the Earth Quotes
Jun 17, Julie Mickens rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the very few books I've read three times, at least parts of it. I first read it on a plane and I could not stop cracking up. I tried to interest my seatmate, but he preferred his portable DVD player. Feb 05, Marti rated it liked it Shelves: I have to rate this lower than things like The Autobiography and other novels because this represents sort of a hodgepodge of remnants and unfinished works.
That's not to say it is not worthwhile. I mean why struggle through something as tedious as Nietzsche, when all the same scathing sentiments against the banality of humans are presented here in humorous form?
TWAIN, Mark - Letters from the Earth
There were parts where he seemed to be writing about today overcrowding, wastefulness, phony religion, and the end of days. Most int I have to rate this lower than things like The Autobiography and other novels because this represents sort of a hodgepodge of remnants and unfinished works. Most interesting is a story in which the main character dreams or thinks he dreams that he and his family shrink to small enough size to sail in an ocean liner across a drop of water on a microscope slide.
Though Twain never finished it, the voyage is filled with strange occurrences and is definitely not a comedy. It reminded me more of a creepy film I once saw called Between Two Worlds in which passengers on a boat slowly come to realize they are dead and on the river Styx. I am not sure that was the ending Twain had in mind, but it was clearly written during his bankruptcy ordeal I recognized incidents taken from real life on the return voyage from England when his wife was ill.
Jun 27, Amina Mirsakiyeva rated it really liked it. Feb 03, David rated it it was amazing. To realize that this was written over a hundred years ago when the nation was far more religiously dogmatic and intolerant, is to realize that Twain was far ahead of his time and exceptionally courageous. It is a wonder he was not condemned from every pulpit and that this book was not ceremoniously burned in public. In this state he will risk life, reputation, everything, even his queer heaven itself, to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax.
From youth to middle age, all men and women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined. Yet, it is actually not in their heaven. Prayer takes its place. All nations dislike all other nations. All white nations despise all colored nations of whatever hue and oppress them when they can.
White men will not associate with Negroes or marry them; they will not allow them in their schools and churches. All the world hates the Jew and will not endure him except when he is rich. All are on an equality absolute, no one of them outranking another; they have to be brothers, to mix together, pray together, harp together, hosanna together—whites, negroes, Jews, everybody, there is no distinction.
Here on earth, all nations hate each other, and every one of them hates the Jew. Yet every pious person adores that heaven and wants to get into it. He really does. And when he is in a holy rapture, he thinks that if he were only there he would take all the populous to his heart and hug and hug and hug!
At times he even comes off more scornful than humorous. But he ends the books with a story, quite apart from the theme of Letters from the Earth. Read anything by Twain, and you come away rather the same: Imagine what he would say about Fox News today! Twain's cynicism and sarcasm are more refined in his classics, but generally, one feels that soul in this collection of obscure stories.
Many are incomplete; a few drag as boring and apparently unedited; but there are a few inspired pieces worth reading. Here, a stunned angel Satan describes the silly awkwardness that we have created as our religion. As the Letters reach forward to Jesus, Twain's satirical heresies move from humourous to bitter, as he blames Jesus for inventing Hell, and rails on God for bringing such disproportional wrath onto the poor and innocent.
Otherwise, there is much forgetable, excepting a few choice phrases scattered throughout: Jan 03, Arthur Brady rated it really liked it. May 17, Bob Schnell rated it really liked it Shelves: After reading the 3 volumes of Mark Twain's autobiography I have been interested in reading everything else outside of his well-known catalog. It is a collection of essays and short works, some not even finished. The bulk of the writings concern Satan's letters to the other angels about God's latest creations.
It is reminiscent of C. L After reading the 3 volumes of Mark Twain's autobiography I have been interested in reading everything else outside of his well-known catalog.
Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters," only Twain uses the format to comment on God's indifference to His creation and mankind's misguided attempts to interpret His non-interference as benevolence or wrath depending on the situation. Unlike Lewis, Twain is out to skewer religion and lay bare all of Judeo-Christianity's hypocrisies. In addition, Twain includes "translations" of the diaries of Adam and Eve which further highlight his scorn for organized religion.
It is likely these are the works Clara was concerned would reflect poorly on her and on her father's popular image. I was most fascinated with an unfinished story of a man's dream that he and his family are on a ship which is traveling from one end of a drop of water to another, trapped on a microscope slide.
It would have made a fine episode of the Twilight Zone except that there is no ending. The editor speculates on how it would end based on some of Twain's notes it's a bit gruesome , but we'll never know for sure. All in all, an interesting collection for Twain enthusiasts. Jan 18, Linda Munro rated it really liked it. This book was recommended reading for the course I am taking through coursera.
Mark Twain's Letters — Complete (1853-1910) by Mark Twain
Twain left thousands of pages of notes at his death, over the years these notes would be published. Since there are a variety of notes, etc. Why is it that people cannot see humor in religion, especially since it was a man made concept? Is it that people would rather revel in blind faith than be forced to rethink their concepts? Maybe it is simply that people do not want to laugh at themselves. Well, there is always the little Cat-Tale to linger on. Twain fans. This had some great parts, and some that were just okay.
These are writings Twain didn't want published for various reasons. Some were a bit risque for his time period. We find he's as wantonly cynical as George Carlin, though he still does it without bad language. Others were incomplete when he died. Some you could tell he just gave up on because they weren't going anywhere great. Some of the pieces were short, and made me think that this could've been Twain's blog had blogs existed back then This had some great parts, and some that were just okay.
Letters from the Earth Quotes by Mark Twain
Some of the pieces were short, and made me think that this could've been Twain's blog had blogs existed back then. And I guess others just never got published for whatever reason as there was nothing bad in them, and they were enjoyable reads.
Others were parts of another work such as A Tramp Abroad , and included material that just didn't make the final cut, though I kind of wish a couple of them had. Maybe they were things that just got tucked away in a drawer and forgotten? My faves: Turns out the deists have it right. God was a clock maker type, set things in motion, wound it up, let it rip, then left it alone. Satan was quite surprised and amused to see what we humans think of the universe and heaven, and sends letters back to heaven to explain it to the other angels.
He points out that our God is a complete idiot and an asshole.
I particularly enjoyed his take on Noah and the flood. After excoriating this saga where God destroys mankind because it was too wicked, he tells us that Noah lands on Mr.
Ararat, plants a vineyard, and gets drunk. This person had been selected from all the populations because he was the best sample there was. He was to start the human race on a new basis. This was the new basis. The promise sic; I think he meant premise was bad. To go further with the experiment was to run a great and most unwise risk.
Now was the time to do with these people what had been so judiciously done with the others - drown them. Anybody but the Creator would have seen this.
The man was a millionaire, despicable as all git-out and may have been a representation of a well-known businessman in Twain's day , but his act was so against his nature that all other tic marks against his soul were canceled, and some of his prayers for violence and storms against his enemies were even granted, " And so was hell. It is quite creative, and lower-case karen really should read it if she ever finds it.
The French and the Comanches" where the French take it pretty heavy on the chin, and I'm always down for making fun of the French. The former is from a lecture Twain gave, and the latter is a piece he wrote. The rest were "eh," and that's a lot of eh. Then there's "The Great Dark" which appears to be 50 pages of an incomplete novel which I reckon would've been about pages had he finished it. The story had promise, and the completed sections were well written, but it wasn't finished.
There were notes for it, and the editor summed it up for us in the last two pages. I could've done without this completely. It's like tucking in for a meal only to find you're missing a couple of courses and everything had been made with stale ingredients and no seasoning.
This would be a five star book if it had those sections listed under "my faves" and nothing else. As it is, I give the whole work three stars. I recommend this collection to Mark Twain completists or anyone who wants to cherry pick the ones I've suggested. Pre-reading note, See also The Screwtape Letters God has a sense of humor. He's always pulling this ironic shit on me, and usually it's a load of fun even when I wind up having to eat crow.
This isn't one of those scenarios, and is harmless enough since I'm not getting my britches caught on my own pitchfork which is how the irony normally rolls out.
This is just one of those low-key "well, how about that" things; a matter of timing. A mere coincidence if you dig those. Yesterday I started The Screwtape Letters. Today a friend met me for dinner. He saw what I was reading, stated circumstances were odd and that my God has a weird sense of humor he's an atheist , then gave me a gift: Uncensored Writings. He suggested I read the two in tandem just for shits and giggles, so that's what I'm going to do.
This has the makings of a celebrity death match! Who will win? Will I get spiritual betterment from C. Lewis, or be driven into permanent irreverence by Mark Twain? Luckily I think I can appreciate each for what it is even if I read them at the same time, but this should be fun. Now to go divvy up the chapters into something close to equal percentage portions Let's see, one is pages, the other , so I guess about 60 pages of one, of the other, then back and forth until I'm done?
Or there's 32 chapters in the first, and 14 sections of the other, but there are subsections in some of those, so that's 30 sections, but some of those are only a couple pages long, and another is pages Though I have read the first two sections of the first, so that leaves 30 sections in each God, I hate math!
I seem to be driving myself into an anxiety attack. This sounds like a job for That's the ticket. Throw the planning to the wind, shoot from the hip, and just go back and forth when-the-hell-ever. I wonder what I'll learn from all this? Probably that I'm a nut, though that became evident after I reread my last paragraph. Or was reiterated to me, rather.
Oh well. Here we go! Post-reading note, Just as I suspected. I can appreciate each for what it is. My soul seems in no more or less danger of damning that before I started, nor does it seem I'm getting ready to ascend to a higher plain. I gained a lot of wisdom from Mr.
Lewis, and some guffaws from Mr. I also gained a bit of insight from Mr. Twain and some snickers from Mr. Lewis, and I thank them both for all of it. It took longer than I expected to complete this project, but that's because I'm never able to dive into these kinds of books the way I can a novel no matter how much I enjoy them.
I go into them with a determination and purposeful stride, but no excitement.
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