|I do not read anything but history and
biography. You perceive that for me to presume to indicate the hundred authors
which a person ought to read, would be folly. No, leave me out: My testimony
would not be valuable.
- letter to Joseph B. Gilder, 16 May 1886
Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson
I have no liking for novels or stories -- none in the world; and so, whenever
I read one -- which is not oftener than once in two years, and even in these
same cases I seldom read beyond the middle of the book -- my distaste for the
vehicle always taints my judgment of the literature itself, as a matter of course;
and also of course makes my verdict valuless. Are you saying "You have
written stories yourself." Quite true: but the fact that an Indian likes
to scalp people is no evidence that he likes to be scalped.
- letter to Bruce Weston Munro, 15 March 1887
It is so unsatisfactory to read a noble passage and have no one you love at hand to share the happiness with you. And it is unsatisfactory to read to one's self anyhow -- for the uttered voice so heightens the expression.
- My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens
Don't explain your author, read him right and he explains himself.
However, this quote has been found in a December 31, 1914 edition of The State (Columbia, S.C.) which gave the source as the Inland Steel Company, Safety Bulletin No. 10. This places it much earlier than "Dear Abby," but still with no acceptable confirmation of source.
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