Photo of Mark Twain bas relief from the
Dave Thomson collection.
In those old days the average man called his children after his most
revered literary and historical idols; consequently there was hardly a
family, at least in the West, but had a Washington in it--and also a Lafayette,
a Franklin, and six or eight sounding names from Byron, Scott, and the
Bible, if the offspring held out. To visit such a family, was to find
one's self confronted by a congress made up of representatives of the
imperial myths and the majestic dead of all the ages. There was something
thrilling about it, to a stranger, not to say awe inspiring.
There is not a single celebrated Southern name in any of the departments of
human industry except those of war, assassination, lynching, murder, the duel,
repudiation, & massacre.
- Mark Twain's notebook #19 (1881).
...when a teacher calls a boy by his entire name it means trouble.
- Mark Twain in Eruption
The minute we get reconciled to a person, how willing we are to throw aside
little needless punctilios and pronounce his name right.
- "The Shrine of St. Wagner"
We called him Barney for short. We couldn't use his real name, there wasn't time.
- Following the Equator
Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search