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Mark Dawidziak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 21 Jan 2012 13:56:03 -0500
text/plain (107 lines)
     Not an epitaph really, but a lovely letter Twain wrote that speaks
to the importance of libraries (and, I suppose, by extension, sites of
literary importance). I read this before every Twain talk I give at a
library (and many of them are, indeed, facing uncertain times):

Letter from Mark Twain to The Millicent Library, Fairhaven, Massachusetts:

Feb. 22, 1894

To the Officers of the Millicent Library*:**
*I am glad to have seen it. It is the ideal library, I think. Books are
the liberated spirits of men, and should be bestowed in a heaven of
light and grace and harmonious color and sumptuous comfort, like this,
instead of in the customary kind of public library, with its depressing
austerities and severities of form and furniture and decoration. A
public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument
for the preservation of events or a name or an affection; for it, and it
only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them. Creed and
opinion change with time, and their symbols perish; but Literature and
its temples are sacred to all creeds, and inviolate. All other things
which I have seen today must pass away and be forgotten; but there will
still be a Millicent Library when by the mutations of language the books
that are in it now will speak in a lost tongue to your posterity.
Truly yours,
Mark Twain

On 1/21/2012 3:55 AM, Graham Durham wrote:
> I would like to thank all on the Forum who joined our twenty year fight to
> save Dollis Hill House in NW London.Sadly the House where Mark stayed in
> 00 was demolished today -  the same local authority(Brent)  has also
>   Kensal Rise library which Twain opened during this stay.
> We also note that campaigners in Detroit are battling to save libraroes
> luding the Mark Twain library.( see Fox News-Detroit)=20
> Clearly the barbarians are amongst us - can anyone find a suitable epitaph
> from Twain ?
> Graham Durham - London=20
>> Date: Fri=2C 20 Jan 2012 10:28:51 -0500
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Bard College invites teachers of American literature to the
>   IWT Curriculum Conversation
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> =20
>> N.B.: I am posting this on behalf of Bard College. Please direct queries
> to
>> the e-mail address at the end of this message.  Kevin B.
>> =20
>> ~~~~~
>> =20
>> The Institute for Writing&  Thinking at Bard College invites teachers of
>> American literature to the 2012 IWT Curriculum Conversation:
>> =20
>> Mark Twain=92s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Facing the Challenge of
>> Teaching an American Classic
>> =20
>> Despite the controversy it has provoked since its publication in the
> ed
>> States in 1885=2C Huckleberry Finn has nonetheless been a cornerstone in
> the
>> secondary and college curriculum for generations. In this=2C the fourth
> nnual
>> IWT Curriculum Conversation=2C writing-to-learn practices are the
> g
>> points for a rigorous reading of Huckleberry Finn=2C for multiple
> s
>> through the lens of other texts=97fiction as well as nonfiction=2C
> ry as
>> well as historical=97and for looking closely at how the text teaches
> ents
>> about irony=2C history=2C language=2C and thinking. Join us to learn
> vative
>> approaches to reading and teaching what Toni Morrison calls =93this
> ng=2C
>> troubling book.=94
>> =20
>> Friday=2C March 16=2C 2012
>> 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
>> Bard College
>> Annandale-on-Hudson=2C New York
>> Fee: $140 (includes morning coffee=2C lunch=2C and anthology of
>> cross-disciplinary readings)
>> =20
>> For online registration and full details about this and other Institute
>> programs=2C visit: or contact Judi Smith at
>> [log in to unmask] or 845-758-7484.
>            =