Weekly Geeks 2009-09 — Favorite book/author quotes

Weekly Geeks

It’s time, once again, for that weekly dose of geekiness, Weekly Geeks!

This week’s theme is “A Quote A Day”.  They want you to give 7 quotes from or about your favorite books and/or authors.  We can post one a day, several a day, as long as you get in about 7 quotes.  Here’s the task:

You may want to come up with a theme, such as favorite passages from books, author quotes, political quotes, quotes about books or reading, humorous quotes, whatever. Or you may not want a theme at all; maybe you just want to gather up seven assorted quotes that appeal to you. You may want to start each of your posts of the week with a quote, or you may want to give quotes posts of their own in addition to your regular posts. It’s all up to you!

One of my favorite authors of all time is Mark Twain. He is consistently one of the most entertaining writers of fiction and non-fiction we have ever known.

Mark Twain

Twain was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835.  He wouldn’t move to the state he is most identified with, Mississippi, until he was four years old.  He began contributing humorous sketches and writings to the Hannibal Journal (in Mississippi) when he was 11.  Twain wrote his first popular work, a short story titled The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, in 1865.  He would be wildly popular ever since.  The sheer volume of work left by Twain is staggering.  Undiscovered writings are still being found as recently as 1995.

Twain had views on everything.  He loved lampooning and making fun of popular society.  Here are some of my favorite quotes by and about Mark Twain.

No less of an authority on writing than Ernest Hemingway said of Twain:

“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

Mr. Twain was a veritable quote machine. He had ideas on everything. Here’s what he had to say about abstinence:

“Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.”

Life on the Mississippi
Everyone loves pirates. So too, apparently, did Samuel Clemens:

“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”

Here’s a really good twist on a popular maxim about money:

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Twain was mostly opposed to organized religion, especially later in life. Here are two quotes from Twain about religion that I think are very astute. They don’t attack religion, they just express where organized religion is lacking.

“So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: ‘Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor’s religion is.’ Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.”

“We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.”

Here’s Mr Twain on a favorite pastime of mine, drinking:

“Of the demonstrably wise there are but two: those who commit suicide, & those who keep their reasoning faculties atrophied with drink.”

Well, there is your seven quotes. Twain is such an entertaining writer. I suggest you re-visit some of his classics like Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer. One of my favorites is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. I’ve always meant to read Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, so I may do that this year.

If you want more Mark Twain quotes, visit the site TwainQuotes.com. It’s a one-stop shop of quotes from the man in the white suit.


24 Responses to “Weekly Geeks 2009-09 — Favorite book/author quotes”

  1. Awww, you took all the good ones…LOL!
    Great post…I thoroughly enjoyed this!

  2. Mark Twain is a good choice. great quotes!

  3. Your former freakin' neighbor Says:

    Wow. Better than the quote I was gonna use:

    “What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women.”
    Genghis Khan (as quoted by Arnold Schwarzeneggar in Conan the Barbarian)

  4. Very good ones. Mark Twain is one of my favorite quotable people 🙂

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