17 November 2010

New Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1

Mark Twain's outspoken views on religion were often suppressed by his only surviving daughter and by Twain's own biographers. Twain directed that some of his writings not be published until 100 years after his death. This year, 2010, marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's passing. Finally, the autobiography that Twain wished to be published is being published in 3 volumes. The first was made available, just this month.

Here is one of the many things Twain had to say about religion in the new version of his autobiography:

"There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory. The invention of hell measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the deity nor his son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled."

An excellent review of the new autobiography can be found at:


Snowbrush said...

"The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled."

Thou shalt live in peace when thou art done slaying them that doth offendeth me by disagreeing with thee."

Amos J. Hezekiah 3:37

I wonder why Twain wanted to wait 100 years instead of, say, 48 years? Maybe he figured his corpse would have rotted enough by then that it couldn't be burned efficiently.

libhom said...

Let us know how well written the books were when they are done and you get a chance to read them. I'm sure I'm not the only reader who is curious about this.

C Woods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Woods said...

To: libhom

Twain's autobiography was published within a few years of his death ---the first time ---but it was highly edited. Don't forget that Twain wrote it himself, so the writing can't be too shabby.

He wanted each part of it to be published as he wrote it, with no regard to chronological order of the episodes, so I believe this new version conforms to his wishes, whereas previous ones did not. (The older version I have & refer to most often was chronological, but I seem to remember running across one version that was not.)

I believe the main difference in this new autobiography (besides not following a chronological order) is that no one censored his words nor left anything out. So, I am guessing it will include all that was published before, plus previously-deleted (or changed) parts, giving us a more complete picture of Mark Twain ---in all his religious skepticism & rants against god ---among other controversial opinions.

C Woods said...

I added a link to a review of Volume 1 of Twain's Autobiography to my post.

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