REIMAGINED CLASSIC STORIES

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Mark Twain

Announcing Eve and Adam - Genders in the Garden

by Jerome Tiller

Near the end of his life, Mark Twain wrote a series of six stories commonly known as the ‘Adamic Diaries’. Four of the stories poke fun at Christianity and are dark in tone. These stories were not published until after Twain died in 1910. Two of the six stories in the series were published as illustrated books while Twain lived—Extracts from Adam’s Diary in 1904 and Eve’s Diary in 1906. These two stories are less pointed and much lighter in tone. In 2017 I intertwined them in “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam” by rearranging text and adding a little new material. I have now created a revised edition of this book that features new formatting and additional illustrations. It also carries a new title: simply, The Diaries of Eve and Adam. The paperback will be available for purchase on July 12, 2024.

Eve Illustrated - Literature with Beautiful Curves

Eve Illustrated - Literature with Beautiful Curves
by Jerome Tiller

As suggested in “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Eve and Adam”, and as illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook, Eve has beautiful curves. She is lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, and graceful. Adam looks like a derrick, or maybe architecture. Eve, standing on a rock, head tilted back, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, is beautiful. Adam resembles a reptile.

It’s no surprise that Twain made Eve more physically attractive than Adam. I suppose he could have written a completely farcical story about the first human creatures and made them much different than readers would expect. Instead, he stuck with one of his trademark approaches, humor by exaggeration, and poked fun at feminine and masculine stereotypes. I’m glad he did....

Twain Illustrated that he was Running for Governor

by Jerome Tiller

Twain Illustrated contains three funny stories by Mark Twain. All three stories are funny, but one, Running for Governor, is also scary, since it strikes so closely to what is currently happening in the USA and elsewhere. Democracy is in danger because so many people don’t know what to believe in this information/disinformation age of ours. Of course, as the story shows, this phenomenon is not exactly brand new. For most of the nineteenth century, politicians funded major newspapers throughout the US. In 1870, only 11% of urban daily newspapers were independent of corrupt influence by politicians. Twain surely had this in mind while writing Running for Governor for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine, in which he portrayed his fictional candidacy for Governor to be just as hopelessly futile as it would have been in fact.  Enjoy a Read-Along Video of Running for Governor Here!
Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated 2023 Winner for Short Story/Anthology 

Are Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy birds of a feather?

by Jerome Tiller

Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy – birds of a feather? Why would anybody think so? Leo Tolstoy was a radical Christian and Mark Twain was something close to an atheist. Leo Tolstoy was financially secure from the time of his birth until his death, while Mark Twain went broke in his constant pursuit of wealth. Mark Twain was spontaneously sociable, Tolstoy guarded, and at least eventually, something close to reclusive. And yet… their attitudes toward institutional power were nearly identical.

DeSantis versus Twain

by Jerome Tiller

Running for Governor
In a matchup for the ages, Mark Twain and Ron DeSantis will be Running for Governor. Should someone ban this contest the way that DeSantis bans books? Yes! Let DeSantis run for President! Plus, Mark Twain would ruin Florida society if he should come back from the dead and win. OK – that's not likely to happen. As iconic as Mark Twain is—or was until guys like DeSantis started banning the books he wrote—he cannot come back and do that. No, no can do. So call off the race. Mark Twain will not run for governor. Besides, he’s been indicted, or more correctly, banned for corrupting youth, so surely he would be disqualified from running for office—right???
View and/or download a FREE PDF version of Twain Illustrated  here!

Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated the Winner for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.

Middle School Readers Might Meet Mark Twain

by Jerome Tiller

Middle schoolers might meet Mark Twain via his famous adventure novels, maybe Tom Sawyer, probably not Huckleberry Finn. The latter is the second most banned book of all time, chiefly because its language is considered racially insensitive, but also because slavery is a major topic within the framework of the story. That’s a bit of history that many people, including administrators, want to forget ever happened.

Then again, perhaps middle schoolers might meet Twain via his early, harmless short tales like The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Perhaps. But it's hard to believe any middle school readers would meet Mark Twain via his politically controversial works. Knowing there are courageous parents, teachers, and administrators who are unafraid of change or exposing youth to wide-ranging topics and stimulating discussions, I published Twain Illustrated: Three Stories by Mark Twain.

View and/or download a FREE PDF version of Twain Illustrated  here!
Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.

Mark Twain Illustrates his Point

by Jerome Tiller

Mark Twain illustrates his point well in the story Running for Governor, one of three stories in Twain Illustrated. And what point is that? These days you could easily transpose it to be: Make Fox News pay the price.

Running for Governor is a story that Twain wrote in 1872 for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine. It centers on corrupt reporting in newspapers and shows modern readers that misinformation has been freely practiced in the USA for as long as forever.
View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!
Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.

 

Mark Twain and George MacDonald

by Jerome Tiller
Mark Twain wed Livy Langdon in 1870 and, during the early weeks of their marriage, George MacDonald tagged along as the author of a novel (Robert Falconer) that Mark and Livy read together. That was Twain's first real exposure to McDonald’s writing and likely the only way he would have absorbed it. For MacDonald had obtained fame in Scotland writing novels steeped in Christian themes, core material that wouldn’t have interested Twain had he not fallen madly in love with Olivia Langdon, a staunch Christian. 
View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!

Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.
 

Mark Twain Connects with China

by Jerome Tiller

Mark Twain connects with readers in China in a way he doesn't usually connect with readers in the USA. Running for Governor, one of three stories in Twain Illustrated, stands out as the best example of why this is so: The Chinese adore Twain as a satirist, while Americans have largely ignored this aspect of his wit.

More than a century after his death American readers still hold Twain the author in the highest esteem. He is widely viewed as the preeminent American humorist and most critics credit him as the founder of the American voice in literature. He is iconic, and has been all along.  View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!
Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.

Twain Illustrated: Twain Presumes Too Much

by Jerome Tiller

Twain illustrated contains one reborn story—Emerson, Holmes, and Longfellow—largely requiring rebirth because even the great Mark Twain could presume too much. The story is my adaptation of a speech he delivered in 1877 at a Boston banquet honoring esteemed American poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Twain presumed his audience was in a playful spirit that night as he prepared to deliver a speech that poked fun at literary giants Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Either the audience was not feeling playful, or maybe everyone was reluctant to laugh because all three poets were seated right there at the head table with Whittier. For neither the poets nor anyone else in the audience laughed, not even once, during the entire story. Master humorist Mark Twain had come to totally expect laughter, and lots of it, when he told a funny story. He claims he never fully recovered from the humiliation he felt that night at the banquet. View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!
Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.

Twain’s Carnival of Exaggerations

by Jerome Tiller
In Twain Illustrated, I adapt three stories by Mark Twain by adding forty-three, contemporary-classic illustrations by Marc Johnson-Pencook. Included in this collection is the wildly hilarious The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut. Mark Twain’s wit usually made people snicker or chuckle, but Twain's carnival of exaggerations more often made them laugh. Twain used and blended many comic forms, including witty jokes, puns, ludicrous impressions, irony, sarcasm, satire, and understatement. But very often he relied upon exaggeration to great comic effect. Like many humorists before him, Twain knew that too much of anything, received playfully, will make people laugh. So Twain filled this story with a carnival of exaggeration to hilarious effect. It's a must-read, must-see story in Twain Illustrated, as Marc Johnson-Pencook is able to keep pace with Twain's exaggerations every scene of the way. 
View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!

Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.
 

Mark Twain Made Mischievous Fun

by Jerome Tiller
Mark Twain made mischievous fun as a boy, and he never stopped making such fun. The practical jokes he played in his youth laid a foundation for some of the humor that would make him famous. According to some, all witty geniuses, Mark Twain included, developed their sense of humor after first playing pranks as children. I’m not sure about the truth of this. I would hope it were not so. Still, if it were to be true, anticipating this end result would probably provide some comfort to whomever has to raise a child prankster.

In essence, pranks embody tricks that produce surprise. But physical pranks also play out to the detriment of a victim. A victim hardly ever immediately sees...

Eve and Adam - Female Objectification

Eve and Adam - Female Objectification
by Jerome Tiller

When it comes to female objectification, Eve and Adam have nothin’ to offer those who want to know why males objectify females. Mark Twain didn’t directly delve into that topic when he wrote his creation stories. But he did recreate the first heterosexual couple, and he did exaggerate certain gender-specific tendencies in each character. Readers in his day would have recognized these masculine and feminine tendencies as legitimate.

After all, Mark Twain was anything but stupid. He built his humor on the bedrock of exaggeration and understatement. And you know he understood how to use those comic devices! He knew it wouldn’t be funny for him to assign, and then exaggerate or understate, gender-related tendencies that didn’t mesh with what his readers had experienced in real life. But he did not choose to directly deal with the matter of female objectification, a male tendency the readers of his day would also have recognized as legitimate. He didn't deal with it, but he certainly could have. Female objectification is not a brand new phenomena. It has been around for far too long.

Fans of Adam Redux - Reconsidering Eve

by Jerome Tiller
Fans of Adam might want us to reconsider Eve and apologize for our insults and the violent trip we suggested they take over a waterfall. In anticipation of their desires, we will.

Apologies first. Eve was concerned for reckless Adam’s safety. She pressured him to stop going over a waterfall. Like Eve, we are non-violent. So we retract our suggestion that Fans of Adam go over a waterfall in a barrel like Adam did. As far as we are concerned, jumping in a lake is usually safe, so we will stick with that suggestion. Go jump in the lake.

As for our insult, were you to object, you would probably be referring to the ‘big baby’ charge we leveled adaptedclassics.comst you. But if...

Midwest Book Review Recommends "Eve and Adam”

by Jerome Tiller
Midwest Book Review recommends “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. You will find their review posted on the Literary Shelf in the October 2017 edition of their e-magazine. It is the first comment we have heard about our newly published book for middle-school readers. Thankfully, it’s a positive one. And we are thankful exactly six times over that Midwest Book Review likes all the books in our Adapted Classics collection of timeless stories for middle-school readers.

That someone finally commented on the book pleases us. However, the reviewer disappointed us by quoting Adam's downer observation about death as the example of Twain’s funny, positive story. The short excerpt the reviewer used does not reflect the tone of the story at...

Fans of Adam - Mark Twain's The Diaries of Eve and Adam

by Jerome Tiller
Fans of Adam might dislike ArtWrite Productions, the publisher of the Adapted Classics book, “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Eve and Adam”. The reason? The publisher decided to place Eve’s name before Adam’s in the title of the book. This upsets tradition, fans of Adam might say, and you do not upset tradition to appease women or to appeal to them for financial gain (women do buy more books than men, and men almost never buy books for their children).

Well, fans of Adam, do you want to know what lake you can jump into? How about the first lake you come upon? But do not drown, you big babies. Your womenfolk might miss you if they are anything like Eve,...

Mark Twain’s Eve and Adam - Gender Stereotypes?

by Jerome Tiller

When Mark Twain developed the characters Eve and Adam in his creation stories, did he rely upon and perpetuate gender stereotypes? Although most of the people who have read and reviewed “Eve’s Diary” like the story, some readers found fault with Twain’s portrayal of Eve, especially after she began taking an interest in Adam. Twain took on a daunting task when he decided to fictionalize the story of creation. He must have known his characterizations of Eve and Adam, the very first human creatures, would be seen as archetypes for all succeeding generations of both genders of humans. Confidants of Twain knew he wrote “Eve’s Diary” as a eulogy to his beloved wife Olivia. Consequently, Twain did not intentionally slight Eve in any way, and definitely not as a gender stereotype, when he developed her character.

View/download free pdf version of the Diaries of Eve & Adam (scaled for mobile & ipad devices)

Adapting Eve & Adam - Intentions and Principles

by Jerome Tiller
Issues regarding intentions and principles loomed while adapting “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. I was concerned that Eve’s character could change if I added new material to combine two separate stories by Twain. But I gave myself leeway to add material because I had no intention to change Eve’s character. Heck, I would not intentionally change any aspect of any character created by Mark Twain. My sole motive in adding new material was to keep dialogue going between Eve and Adam from beginning to end. I tried to keep Eve’s character in line with Twain’s Eve by closely considering what Eve had to say in her diary before the fall, along with the few things she had to say...

Mark Twain’s Goal - Bringing Eve & Adam Together

Mark Twain’s Goal - Bringing Eve & Adam Together
by Jerome Tiller

Mark Twain wanted to bring Eve and Adam together, but his goal went unrealized until after his death. Twain wanted to unite his "creation stories" so Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on creation would stand in high contrast. As Twain said, “They score points against each other — so, if not bound together, some of the points would not be perceived.” In 1931, 21 years after Mark Twain died, Harper finally brought the stories together by publishing a book titled “The Private Life of Adam and Eve”.

Mark Twain was a writer at ease with organizing and presenting his ideas. He rarely struggled to bundle into finished form all that his fertile mind imagined. But combining Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on creation into a cohesive whole challenged him for years.