(Twain) Mark [alias; real name Samuel Lenghorn Clemens (30.11.1835, Florida, Missouri, 21.4.1910, Redding, Connecticut), an American writer. He spent his childhood in the town of Hannibal (Mississippi). From 1853 he roamed the country, was a pilot on the Mississippi, a miner in the silver mines of Nevada, a gold digger in California, a journalist. Widely known was T.’s story on the folklore story “The famous galloping frog from Calaveras” (1865). In 1867 T. visited Europe and Palestine; the book about this trip “The Innocents Abroad” (1869) marked the triumphal entry of folklore humor into great literature. “The Prost” are full of pride for their country, who did not know feudal oppression, servility and landlessness; humor serves
In 1875, in “Atlantic Monthly”, T. published essays “Old Times on the Mississippi”; in 1876 published “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”; in 1883 the book “Life on Mississippi” was published, where to the essays on the old times a modern chronicle was added; in 1884 in England (in the US in 1885) appeared “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The distance between past and present America is palpable in all these books. Released from illusions, T. and in American democracy of the past sees a lot of cruel and wild. In his books on the past, marked by a critical acuteness and deepening into everyday life, the concept of America, which still remains modern, arose. In the autobiographical Tom Sawyer, the world of childhood defends itself against the onslaught of decency and piety. In “Life on the Mississippi” glorified “the great pilotage science.” The beginning and the end of the novel about Huck are dedicated to the same boyish adventures as “Tom Sawyer”, but here it is just a frame: in the main part of the book the American wilderness is sharply portrayed, with its atmosphere of everyday cruelty and self-interest. The novel is written on behalf of Huck, American life is given in his perception. The image of the homeless hero deepened – his former naivety is combined with a rare responsiveness. In a completely real and at the same time poetic image of the runaway Negro Jim, too, there is an inner perspective: as a child, a trusting connoisseur will be endowed with spiritual generosity and delicacy. Both of these simple-minded outcasts, floating along a clean river past unsightly towns, are close to writers of the 20th century. W. Faulkner named them among his favorite heroes. E. Hemingway’s statement is known:
All her life T. occupied the problem of the Middle Ages. The hierarchical society of the past, which outraged his democratic nature, seemed grotesque to him. In 1882 T. published a story “The Prince and the Pauper,” where an allegorical story defiantly denies the world of social privileges and partitions. A combat plebeian shade is borne by T. “Yankee from Connecticut at the court of King Arthur” (1889).
In the early 90’s. in the life of T. it is a difficult time. The collapse of his publishing firm (1894) forced the writer to work feverishly, to take an annual trip around the world (1895) with public lectures. A new blow caused the death of her daughter. Many of the pages written by T. in the last two decades of his life are imbued with a sense of bitterness. In the often misanthropic judgments of the hero of the story “The Simpsons of Wilson” (1894), the traditional beliefs of American philistines are turned inside out. The bitter disappointment in bourgeois democracy forces the late T. to reveal the illusory ideals and norms perceived from childhood. In the story “The Mysterious Stranger” (published 1916), he reviews the main motives of his work. A free childhood near the river in the spirit of Tom Sawyer is inscribed here in a gloomy picture of medieval manners.
In the 20th century. T. – a recognized classic of world literature and at the same time a truly national writer, the discoverer of America, where the tragic neighbor with the comic, the terrible – with the poetic. One of the greatest humorists of modern times, T. is also a favorite children’s writer. In Russia, T. was evaluated early: in 1872 in the “Exchange Gazette” appeared translation of his story about the jumping frog, in 1874 in “Notes of the Fatherland” was printed “Gilded Age” (under the title “Mishuriy Vek”). On T. warmly responded M. Gorky, A. Kuprin. In the USSR, T.’s traditional popularity was further strengthened