Read Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain Free Online
Book Title: Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven|
The author of the book: Mark Twain
ISBN 13: 9781591020240
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 978 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.4
Edition: Prometheus Books
Date of issue: November 1st 2002
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Twain's witty vision of what heaven "is really like" is told from the point of view of the recently deceased Captain Stormfield. In a folksy narration peppered with sailor's jargon, the amiable, altogether down-to-earth merchant marine describes a series of amusingly disconcerting revelations about the next world.
Sitting on a cloud strumming a harp all day turns out to be insufferably boring; being eternally youthful also has its drawbacks when the captain finds himself not mixing well with a crowd of insipid teenagers; and Native Americans so outnumber whites in the North American district of Paradise that the average white Anglo-Saxon male has trouble finding someone to talk to. In fact the outlandish dimensions and characteristics of heaven utterly explode every human conception.
This funny, satirical spoof on human pretensions about the importance of our species in the grand scheme of things was the last published work by Mark Twain. The main character and plot were inspired by the dream of an actual sea captain whom Twain had known. Published at the beginning of the 20th century, when astronomy had just begun to reveal the huge expanse of outer space and traditional religious concepts of our place in the universe had become inadequate, Twain's humorous vision of the afterlife seems to reflect the new scientific awareness of the awesome cosmos that confronts us and the feelings of insignificance that this discovery produced.
Two years after publication of this "extract," originally planned as a six-chapter book, Twain himself shipped off to follow in Captain Stormfield's wake.
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Read information about the authorSamuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.
He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility.
Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".
Excerpted from Μαρκ Τουαίν (Greek)
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