Saybelle wrote:Thanks, Dato. Twain's ‘Letters from the Earth' sounds fascinating. I love the historical aspects of it. I think I will seek that out next. I miss my classics & need to get them back into the mix.
Actually, the title of the book - The Letters From The Earth
- is only ONE of the stories in the collection of essays of the same name. To get the entire text go to: scribd.com/doc/35860721/Letters-From-th ... Mark-Twain
and the various selections of individual essays can be found in the small window to the right entitled "Sections".
To tell the truth there were funnier essays/stories in this collection that the one the book is named for. I would recommend ...Cooper's Prose Style The French and the Comanches
:From the Manuscript of "A Tramp Abroad" (1879)From an Unfinished Burlesque of Books on Etiquette
and The Great Dark
is a fascinating look at Twain writing Science FictionA sample section from the essay An Unfinished Burlesque of Books on Etiquette
I. AT THE FUNERAL
DO NOT criticize the person in whose honor the entertainment is given. Make no remarks about his equipment. If the handles are plated, it is best to seem to not observe it. If the odor of the flowers is too oppressive for your comfort, remember that they were not brought there for you, and that the person for whom they were brought suffers no inconvenience from their presence. Listen, with as intense an expression of attention as you can command, to the official statement of the character and history of the person in whose honor the entertainment is given; and if these statistics should seem to fail to tally with the facts, in places, do not nudge your neighbor, or press your foot upon his toes, or manifest, by any other sign, your awareness that taffy is being distributed. If the official hopes expressed concerning the person in whose honor the entertainment is given are known by you to be oversized, let it pass -- do not interrupt. At the moving passages, be moved -- but only according to the degree of your intimacy with the parties giving the entertainment, or with the party in whose honor the entertainment is given. Where a blood relation sobs, an intimate friend should choke up, a distant acquaintance should sigh, a stranger should merely fumble sympathetically with his handkerchief. Where the occasion is military, the emotions should be graded according to military rank, the highest officer present taking precedence in emotional violence, and the rest modifying their feelings according to their position in the service. Do not bring your dog.