Mark Twain quotes

Mark Twain photo
637   63

Mark Twain

Birthdate: 30. November 1835
Date of death: 21. April 1910

Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , the latter often called "The Great American Novel".

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he eventually overcame his financial troubles with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers. He chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, even after he had no legal responsibility to do so.

Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well; he died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature".

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

Works

„Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.“

—  Mark Twain

Variant: Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

„When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the bunghole, until he reaches 16 … at which time you plug the bunghole.“

—  Mark Twain

Attributed to Twain but never sourced, this quotation should not be regarded as authentic.
Misattributed

Citát „If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.“

„If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.“

—  Mark Twain

No known source in Twain's works.
The earliest known source is a Usenet post from November 2000 https://groups.google.com/forum/message/raw?msg=israel.francophones/j_b0peHVcJw/YN5cG6Pdk6QJ.
Disputed

„Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.“

—  Mark Twain, book Following the Equator

Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. LXVI
Following the Equator (1897)

„When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.“

—  Mark Twain

Source: Who Is Mark Twain?

„If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.“

—  Mark Twain

Variant: If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

„The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.“

—  Mark Twain

Variant of this quote "The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up." is misattributed to Albert Einstein.
Source: According Quote Investigator Mark Twain did write a version of this saying in a personal notebook in 1896, and it was published by 1935 in “Mark Twain’s Notebook”. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/12/21/cheer-somebody/

„If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.“

—  Mark Twain, book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Notebook entry, January or February 1894, Mark Twain's Notebook, ed. Albert Bigelow Paine (1935), p. 240 http://books.google.com/books?id=DjBVlb7cBSIC&pg=PA240
Variant: If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!
Source: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

„It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.“

—  Mark Twain

Cited as an example of "What Mark Twain Didn't Say" in Mark Twain by Geoffrey C. Ward, et al.
Misattributed
Variant: It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Similar authors

Ellen G. White photo
Ellen G. White48
American author and founder/leader of the Seventh-Day Adven…
Fyodor Dostoyevsky photo
Fyodor Dostoyevsky155
Russian author
Jules Renard photo
Jules Renard1
French author (1864-1910)
Friedrich Engels photo
Friedrich Engels86
German social scientist, author, political theorist, and ph…
Orison Swett Marden photo
Orison Swett Marden16
American writer
Edgar Allan Poe photo
Edgar Allan Poe126
American author, poet, editor and literary critic
Hans Christian Andersen photo
Hans Christian Andersen41
Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet
Charles Spurgeon photo
Charles Spurgeon48
British preacher, author, pastor and evangelist
Elizabeth Barrett Browning photo
Elizabeth Barrett Browning88
English poet, author
Today anniversaries
Elliot Rodger photo
Elliot Rodger52
American spree killer 1991 - 2014
John Nash photo
John Nash23
American mathematician and Nobel Prize laureate 1928 - 2015
Margaret Fuller photo
Margaret Fuller116
American feminist, poet, author, and activist 1810 - 1850
Mitch Albom photo
Mitch Albom289
American author 1958
Another 73 today anniversaries
Similar authors
Ellen G. White photo
Ellen G. White48
American author and founder/leader of the Seventh-Day Adven…
Fyodor Dostoyevsky photo
Fyodor Dostoyevsky155
Russian author
Jules Renard photo
Jules Renard1
French author (1864-1910)
Friedrich Engels photo
Friedrich Engels86
German social scientist, author, political theorist, and ph…
Orison Swett Marden photo
Orison Swett Marden16
American writer