Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Twain: Adam’s Diary and Eve’s Diary

Mark Twain

The Diaries of Adam and Eve

Quotes from Extracts from Adam's Diary

"After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. At first, I thought she talked too much; but now I should be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. Blessed be the sorrow that brought us near together and taught me to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit!"

Quotes from Eve's Diary
"Some instinct tells me that eternal vigilance is the price of supremacy."

"I had to have company - I was made for it, I think - so I made friends with the animals. They are just charming, and they have the kindest disposition and the politest ways; they never look sour, they never let you feel that you are intruding, they smile at at you and wag their tail, if they've got one, and they are always ready for a romp or an excursion or anything you want to propose."

"The birds and animals are all friendly to each other, and there are no disputes about anything. They all talk, and they all talk to me, but it must be a foreign language, for I cannot make out a word they say; yet they often understand me when I talk back, particularly the dog and the elephant. It makes me ashamed. It shows that they are brighter than I am, and are therefore my superiors."

"At first I couldn't make out what I was made for, but now I think it was to search out the secrets of this wonderful world and be happy and thank the Giver of it all for devising it."

"I know that the stars are not going to last. I have seen some of the best ones melt and run down the sky. Since one can melt, they can all melt; since they can all melt, they can all melt the same night. That sorrow will come - I know it. I mean to sit up every night and look at them as long as I can keep awake; and I will impress those sparking fields on my memory, so that by-and-by when they are taken away, I can by my fancy restore those lovely myriads to the black sky and make them sparkle again, and double them by the blur of my tears."

"It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together. . .
But if one of us must go first, it is my prayer that it shall be I, for he is strong, I am weak, I am not so necessary to him as he is to me - life without him would not be life; how could I endure it?"

Angie's Musings

I'm working my way through some of Mark Twain's "darker" religious-themed stories. The Diaries of Adam and Eve are sweet tales - I won't argue that. He wrote these stories for his wife, who didn't exactly approve of his more controversial texts, but I wonder: Did he use the "sweetness" of these stories to mask his "dark views" of Christianity, especially on the traditional gender roles taught by Christians? Twain declared himself a "women's rights man" in a Votes for Women 1901 speech...

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