Fri, 3 Jul 1998 11:57:08 -0700
I find it hard to think of anything to write about Mark Twain's thought. I
wonder if it's because I've lost interest (being cloyed with too much
reading of him over the years), or because Twain wasn't really a thinker.
Maybe it's because he was more of an intuitive rather than a discursive
writer. Comedy does seem to be more about the intuitive grasp of
incongruous things or events, etc, and it cannot be easily analyzed without
removing the surprise occasioned by the incongruities.
I've never really been impressed by Twain's views on anything in particular
(such as his non-standard view of Shakespearean authorship), but was always
more impressed by the way he stated his views.
Can a deep thinker really ever be a funny man? Or can a funny man ever
really be a deep thinker? Or do the two modes of looking at the world
exclude one another?