July 10, 2010

Mark Twain, one hundred years later.

This may be mistaken for a fan letter. Well in fact it is. Initially I wanted to cite the new Mark Twain autobiography. In case you missed this, it is a manuscript that Mr. Twain spoke to a stenografer for three years prior to his death at age 74. It was provided that it would not be published until one hundred years after his death for obvious reasons. Mr. Twain wished to speak freely and knew that many of his thoughts were incendiary for those times and would be one hundred years later. He also wanted to protect any remaining family members from harsh criticism emanating from his views at the time.

All the codicils have been fulfilled and the autobiography will start appearing this fall. One of the interesting issues will be a section entitled THE FARM. His family owned a farm when Twain was growing up and there is where he met the real life slave who was the model in life of Jim the runaway slave in future books. His feelings about slavery may surprise you but it may not. It proves to be a book, actually more than one volume, Twain fans will have to read.

The fan letter is not directed toward Twain, although I am a fan, but to the New York Times regular section titled TIMES TOPIC. I absolutely love this section.

How it is applied in this article is as usual illuminating. Among personages whom Mr. Twain had opinions was Theodore Roosevelt. By clicking on a hyperlink of Mr. Roosevelt you are taken to Times Topic, in this case a person, to be rewarded with information and illustrations that in some cases tell you maybe more than you wanted to know.

In my blog I have used this treasure trove to enhance many subjects dealing with the art world and people of renown. I feel like a thief being able to, even encouraged to avail myself of their hard work amassing their facts and pictorials of the subject.

Until the NYT puts a padlock on the TIMES TOPIC door, I will avail myself time and time again. I thank them for the opportunity to pass along what I find and for the personal education I receive each time I click in. Thank You.

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