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Adapted Classics Blog

Mark Twain Archives | Adapted ClassicsBlog Posts

Mark Twain is Running for Governor

Mark Twain is Running for Governor. But that’s fake news. Or just plain fiction, to use a more accurate term. For among other things, Mark Twain wrote political satire. Our latest story celebrates this brand of Twain humor during our 2020 election season. Twain wrote Running for Governor for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine. He portrayed his fictional candidacy for Governor to be hopeless, just as if he had actually campaigned for the position. He knew that both major party candidates were generating newspaper propaganda in the New York election of 1870. And he knew those lies would doom any honest, independent candidate to defeat. Fake[…] Read More

Free Illustrated ePub – Twain’s Running for Governor

Free Illustrated ePub—Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. So go ahead. Get your free illustrated ePub until the US 2020 presidential election is decided. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. After all, unlike our 2020 presidential election, Mark Twain’s campaign isn’t real. Or so people say. 

Election Propaganda? Mark Twain is Running!

Election Propaganda? What’s new? Until the US 2020 presidential election is decided, we are posting a free download of Mark Twain’s Running for Governor on our home page. So go ahead. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This election campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. After all, unlike[…] Read More

A Free-for-All Election, no-holds-barred

A free-for-all election, no-holds-barred, can be fun. But not unless someone like Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Pretend with him that he is, and just forget the obstacles he encounters are so much like 2020 reality. Get past that kind of comparing and you’ve got it made. You can enjoy Twain’s humorous political tale, and immensely! Mark Twain’s Running for Governor will eventually be collected with two more Twain stories in an Adapted Classics book entitled Twain Illustrated. But we could not resist sharing a free, special edition of this story during the 2020 election season. Twain hilariously describes his run for[…] Read More

A Classic Color Conundrum—Creation in Black & White

A classic color conundum – creation in black and white as depicted in Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam – is forcing the color debate upon us. This particular Adapted Classics book raises the question whether the natural beauty of creation can be properly represented with black and white illustrations.  No, said a panel of judges in a contest we entered for best illustrated book of 2018. You can’t expect a reader to use his or her mind’s eye to add color to pen and ink illustrations of creation scenes, even if they are described in colorful prose by Mr.[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Carnival of Crime Exaggeration (Redux)

A carnival of Mark Twain exaggerations is on full display in one of our Adapted Classics stories, “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut”. You can now find digital versions of this irreverent tale at both Apple Books and Amazon. If you are reluctant to spend a coupla bucks to test your tolerance or taste for Twain’s irreverence, both sites offer a preview of the book before you make an investment.  This story would be a useful tool for showing middle school students how exaggeration works as humor. It would also be useful in a lesson that contrasts[…] Read More

Twain’s Carnival of Exaggerations

Witty Mark Twain’s trickery usually got people to 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 learned too much of anything, taken playfully, makes people laugh. But as mentioned in a previous post, a playful audience for humor is essential. For instance, if sensitive to the violent use of firearms, as many of us are after so many massacres at[…] Read More

Mark Twain Made Mischievous Fun

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[…] Read More

The Humor of Twain, Poe, and Hawthorne

Comparing the humor of Twain, Poe, and Hawthorne would be an excellent way to introduce middle school students to classic literature. It’s hard to imagine a topic that would be more interesting to middle school students than humor. You just know a classroom discussion about humor would be fun for teacher and students. And it would be educational too, of course. Humor takes many forms that are worth knowing about. And Twain, Poe, and Hawthorne are worth knowing about too, and the sooner the better. All of them used humor to make or enhance classic stories that have added texture[…] Read More

Eve and Adam Have Nothin’ to Offer

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[…] Read More