A Man of Mark
By Helena Gondry
Kiy Tywoniw’s black and white portrait captures the essentials of Mark Twain. The prominent lighter side is Twain’s pure and poignant humor found in letters, essays and books. Yet, he is shadowed in dark challenges he cared deeply about, such as international literary piracy in a time when a writer’s works were not protected. In the intensity of his eyes, a certain sadness, a burden perhaps – that the betterment of a society he believed in was in trouble.
Mark Twain is the ‘mom de guerre” of Samuel Clemens, 1835 – 1910. As this young country grew into an international and industrial power, Twain shared his observations through his writings and popular speeches – home and abroad.
For most, he is known for his novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
His influence on American literature can be found in Mark Twain, A Life, by Ron Powers, and for junior readers, A Writer’s Life, Mark Twain, by Milton Meltzer.
Three volumes of his autobiography have recently been published, and his books and short stories are on display at the Hillsboro Library.
Doug Riley, of Tunnelton, is a retired history teacher. In 1992, he finished his career in the US Army Reserves as a Combat Arms Officer serving with NATOR forces in Germany.
Riley portrays Mark Twain as part of the West Virginia Humanities History Alive! program.
“Twain” will speak about his boyhood years September 20 at a special event at the Hillsboro Library.
The social begins at 5 p.m. with music by Bill Hefner, followed at 6 p.m by a potluck supper. The program will begin at 7 p.m.
There is no charge and children are welcome. Please bring a covered dish to share at the potluck.
“By itself, railroad coffee is too passive but sheep-dip makes it wake up and get down to business.” – a Mark Twain maxim on a dish towel in my home on Droop Mountain.