And, mind you, emotions are among the toughest things in the world to manufacture out of whole cloth; it is easier to manufacture seven facts than one emotion. Where Twain rambles into a story, it's captivating. Early Career Twain's father died when Twain was twelve years old and, for the next ten years, Twain was an apprentice printer and then a printer both in Hannibal and in New York City. Taking a Trip Twenty-one years later, Mark Twain writes of his steamboat trip on the Mississippi River from St. Mark Twain, one of America's first and foremost realists and humanists, was born in 1835 during the appearance of Haley's Comet, and he died during the next appearance of Haley's Comet, 75 years later. These And, mind you, emotions are among the toughest things in the world to manufacture out of whole cloth; it is easier to manufacture seven facts than one emotion. The first few chapters tell a highly opinionated version of the history of the rivers discovery by the Europeans anyway , then it quickly changes into a personal reminiscence of Twain's years as a cub-pilot, then full fledged pilot.
Where Twain rambles into a story, it's captivating. This wasn't his first book. This part, is good, and I'd recommend it. A stirring account of America's vanished past. My major issue is with the exposition Twain presents, which is grueling to say the least.
And when he shifts away from humor, the results can be pretty grim. So often my reading seems to unintentionally reflect upon itself. It exceeds in extent the whole of Europe, exclusive of Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It was a mass market paperback with really tiny font and. The first 40% or so is a memoir of Twain's personal experience on the river when he was 20-25 years old. Bixby is described by Twain as serious and tough, yet at the same time, a very industrious and smart steamboat pilot.
Joliet and Marquette arrived to the Mississippi junction by way of Wisconsin. You can climb over there, and not hurt anything. He again uses the first-hand accounts of Mrs. The other two-thirds has moments of equal power--Twain's account of his return to his boyhood home Hannibal, for example--but most of it is a casually organized travelogue of a trip up the Mississippi by the fifty-year-old Twain, interrupted by random anecdotes and tall tales. Except for that boilers exploding part of steamboating. Bixby often tells stories while the two are traveling, and Twain meets him again years later when he returns to the Mississippi years after the war.
But when he dons the cap of a raconteur, I tend to find his stories mechanical and dull. And doesn't he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade? One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. I'm not saying that all of the nautical know-how of the steamboat industry is useless, but I am saying that it's a bit much. Seriously, tho, Twain needed an editor with a heavy hand for this one. Like the river it describes, this book is long and meandering, possesses a great deal of nostalgic charm and is capable of sudden bursts of violence.
In comparison to Twain's poetic river, he is able to grasp the hazards of the river through his work on the riverboats. But I loved the old days on the river when the pilot had to have the river memorized in his head. A lot of that travelouge is fairly dry. It pains me to say that as a Mark Twain fan, but that was one part of the book that held little appeal for me. Hearing a bit about what St. The only places this book dragged was in all the descriptions of the cities on the Mississippi 20 years after the time Mark Twain was a riverboat pilot and he travels down the river as a writer and tells us about it.
The valley of the frozen Obi approaches it in extent; that of La Plata comes next in space, and probably in habitable capacity, having about eight-ninths of its area; then comes that of the Yenisei, with about seven-ninths; the Lena, Amoor, Hoang-ho, Yang-tse-kiang, and Nile, five-ninths; the Ganges, less than one-half; the Indus, less than one-third; the Euphrates, one-fifth; the Rhine, one-fifteenth. Though it has no first-person voice, Twain details its history from its first glimpse by a white man, DeSoto, who called it a nondescript body of water, to its role in the growth of America and the South. When De Soto found it, he was not hunting for a river, and had no present occasion for one; consequently he did not value it, or even take any particular notice of it. The awful crash was imminent--why didn't that villain come! This keeps down hard feelings. He describes a steamboat pilot who took people to watch a Civil War battle from the cabin of his ship.
No, the romance and the beauty were all gone from the river. Hoaxes and exaggerations palmed off by pilots and other natives along the way upon supposed ignorant strangers; stories of gamblers and obsolete robbers; glimpses of character and manners; descriptions of scenery and places; statistics of trade; Indian legends; extracts from the comments of foreign travelers, -- all these occur, interspersed with two or three stories of either humorous or tragic import, or of both together. Joliet and Marquette came from Wisconsin to the Mississippi junction. However, it became a very essential and key element to America when we began to use it for trade and steamboats. Actually quite a lot is covered in this book, not just steamboating; there is a lot social and political commentary, and as usual for Mark Twain, much of it is funny.
He was a celebrity if there ever was one. A significant event in his life was the coincidence of him piloting the last steamboat out of New Orleans going to St. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. Twain maintains that this area was important to Union troops during the. The soil of the boiler-deck was thin and rocky, but good enough for grazing purposes. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable. The book is a conglomeration of different pieces, patched together into a volume containing much information related to the Mississippi River from the perspective of the famous author Mark Twain.