Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Life on the Mississippi–Revisted
Life on the Mississippi is the famous memoir by Mark Twain, who happens to be one of my favorite authors of all time. In fact, Twain was so good that Ernest Hemingway, upon winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, commented that it should have been awarded to Twain instead (Twain’s writing greatly influenced Hemingway’s work).
Life on the Mississippi reflects on Twain’s days as a steamboat pilot and adventurer traveling along the Mississippi River both before and after the American Civil War. Although not all the tales ring true, Twain does a masterful job painting life in that era, and glorifies the mighty river and its contribution to the building of American society.
One can hardly afford to pass up reading this book. As historical fiction, it gives us great insight into an age when railroads were king and greed ran rampant through the Midwest. As a Floridian, I am interested in the railroad Flagler built through the state of Florida into the Keys during the early part of the 20th century. Whenever I read Life on the Mississippi, I envision what it must have been like and picture similar difficulties and victories for railroad workers and seafarers alike.
On an unrelated note, Life on the Mississippi is believed to be the first book ever submitted to a publishing house in the form of a typewritten manuscript.