Book: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens by Jerome Loving (April 2010)
The first half of Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens
follows the rootless Mark Twain as he becomes a travel writer. Although we think of Twain as a humorist, he clearly wrote the outstanding travel literature of the day. And in the mid nineteenth century, it seemed that everyone was writing travel literature.
This video gives you a peek into the thinking of Jerome Loving, whose new book is being praised as the ultimate critical biography of Twain and his work.
“More books have been published about Mark Twain than any other American writer and, with this centennial year (also the 175th anniversary of his birth and the 125th anniversary of “Huck Finn,”), the world’s fascination with Twain will be remembered and reignited,” says Harper Barnes in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Jerome Loving’s book, which focuses on the minutiae of Twain’s wanderings–both physical and philosophical, provides all the information you could ever want about Mark Twain. Reading Loving is like listening to a friend with a subject he is passionate about. He grabs your collar and talks your ear off. Loving’s passion comes through, even though I sometimes got a bit lost in sidetracks into Walt Whitman (Loving also wrote Walt Whitman, the Song of Himself) and other digressions.
Still, I appreciate this view of Twain as a developing travel writer, and the short chapters which allow you to focus on the segments of Twain’s life as he zig-zagged through many “apprenticeships” as he called his false starts. This book belongs in the Traveler’s Library as a reference for all those places that Twain, the inveterate traveler, first brought to the American reader–Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, the Holy Lands, Hawaii, Europe. It sometimes seems that wherever you go, it seems that Twain was there before you.
If you want to read more about Twain from A Traveler’s Library, don’t miss the guest post by Mark Heers about his favorite book, A Tramp Abroad. I thought about Roughing It when I was visiting Lake Tahoe.
Disclaimers: The video is shown courtesy of YouTube. The publishers, University of Berkeley Press sent me a review copy of this book. I include a link to Amazon for your convenience, and because by purchasing anything at Amazon when you link there from this site, you are supporting A Traveler’s Library. Thank You.
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