Mark Twain Autobiography Chastises Christianity
Mark Twain’s autobiography is being released in it’s entirety for the first time. He had decreed that it was not to be published until 100 years after his death. He had died in 1910 at the age of 75.
“Most people don’t have the nerve to speak exactly what they believe while they’re alive, because of the repercussions. People will shun them. He says: I’m only human. I don’t want to be shunned. I don’t want to be thought ill of, and, therefore, I’m willing to write this down and put it on paper and leave it behind.”
He used the autobiography as a of unburdening some of his thoughts and feelings he knew he could not have said out loud at the time.
“There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory. The invention of hell measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the deity nor his son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled.”
Robert Hurst, the general editor of the Mark Twain Project had been working with colleagues for the past 6 years to put together into a complete document.
“Even for us, who have had access to it without restriction, seeing the way he wants to arrange it, seeing the way he wants to put the parts together is a — is brand-new to us. And I think — I can’t help feeling that it will be brand-new and interesting to the world.”
In one revelatory passage, Twain describes how he overcame writer’s block while working on “Tom Sawyer.”
“For I knew quite well the tale was not finished, and I could not understand why I was not able to go on with it. The reason was very simple. My tank had run dry. It was empty. When the manuscript had lain in a pigeonhole two years, I took it out one day.”And it was then that I made the great discovery that, when the tank runs dry, you’ve only to leave it alone, and it will fill up again in the time while you were asleep, also while you were at work on other things and are quite unaware that this unconscious and profitable cerebration is going on. There was plenty of material now, and the book went on and finished itself without any trouble.”
The first of three volumes is scheduled to be released in November.
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