Cover of the first U.S. edition of Twain's classic novel.
[A couple of days ago, I had a blog post which quoted RAW as saying Mark Twain was one of his favorite writers; I complained that I couldn't find much discussion by RAW about Twain. Bobby Campbell, Prop Anon and Eric Wagner all responded. Bobby's comment was the longest, and I want to reproduce it here. The Management.]
A bit of RAW's affection for Twain came out during a discussion I had with him about similarities I found between "The Earth will Shake" & "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" during the Quantum Psychology class.
"No writer ever knows consciously all the influences on his work
but I did know the influence of Portrait of the Artist
on Earth Will Shake
& two others you didn't mention:
Huckleberry Finn by Twain and
Intruder in the Dust by Faulkner
Replace religious bigotry with racism
and you'll see the Mississippi/Napoli parallels"
And then after I confirmed I saw the parallels after re-reading Huckleberry Finn:
"Huck Finn decides that even if hell exists,
he'd rather go there than send Jim back to slavery
the most moving scene in American literature to me;
I can't even write this brief summary of it without tears coming
Siggy makes a similar choice
but I'm not as good a writer as Twain"
Someone on my Dad's side of the family recently did a big expansive genealogy and it turns out I'm very vaguely related to Mark Twain. His 3x grand parents are my 7x grand parents.
I don't put any stock in distant relations like that though, I mean we have 32 3x grand parents, 64 4x grand parents, etc etc, past a certain point everyone might as well be related to everyone else :)))
Tom again: There's an outfit called Standard Ebooks that tries to do definitive editions of public domain books; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the seven Mark Twain ebooks the organization has produced so far. The books are various formats, including the standard ePub format which Amazon's Kindle finally now supports. There are a number of good ebook readers for smart phones; I use Read Era for my ePub books.