Letters From the Earth   

 
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, possibly the most loved and least understood icon in American literature, is a god to me. When I was ten years old, my favorite aunt Myrtice noticed me crawling (figuratively) through our mutual aunt’s bookcase. As I was finding nothing new to read and am predisposed to reread books I love, she pressed a copy of Twain’s rare Letters From the Earth into my grubby little hands. “You’re just enough family to appreciate this,” she remarked, perhaps glimpsing just how profoundly my life was about to be changed. Mark Twain altered the way I look at the world: he taught me to question the parameters of my mind, to hold the earth like a ball in my hands and examine it from multiple perspectives. Much more so than any of the truly wonderful teachers it has been my good fortune to know, Sam Clemens taught me how to think - scientifically and creatively.


He lived in a time where slavery was the default value for life and thought, and he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which dared to express the idea all people were human beings - no matter what their skin, or eye, or tooth color may be - and deserving of equal human rights. Letters From the Earth introduced me to the idea that ancient mythology was religion for those who lived in that time.


He himself was a shining star streaking across the heavens, and he entered and departed this world with Haley's Comet. One school of thought opines he was a time traveller, because his thinking was so far ahead of his time. Another takes the viewpoint he was from another planet or universe. To me, he is an example of that to which homo sapiens aspire, but so seldom attain.


Don’t believe me? Looking for proof?


Find yourself a copy of Letters From the Earth, and watch while the world revolves.  


 
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