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Brev från jorden (1962)

av Mark Twain, Bernard Devoto (Redaktör)

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,782375,181 (4.13)98
Letters from the Earth is one of Mark Twain's posthumously published works. The essays were written during a difficult time in Twain's life; he was deep in debt and had lost his wife and one of his daughters. The book consists of a series of short stories, many of which deal with God and Christianity. The title story consists of letters written by the archangel Satan to archangels, Gabriel and Michael,about his observations on the curious proceedings of earthly life and the nature of man's religions. Other short stories in the book include a bedtime story about a family of cats Twain wrote for his daughters, and an essay explaining why an anaconda is morally superior to Man.… (mer)
  1. 00
    Filosofi för lekmän av Bertrand Russell (fundevogel)
    fundevogel: Like Twain Russell uses wit and humor to present his social and philosophical views, often on reason, sexuality and religion.
  2. 00
    Bible Stories for Adults av James Morrow (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Short-form satires leveraging biblical mythology.
  3. 01
    The Age of Reason av Thomas Paine (Waldheri)
    Waldheri: Similar because: both are easy to read and have similar anti-religious goals.
  4. 01
    Antikrist : Hammaren talar av Friedrich Nietzsche (Waldheri)
    Waldheri: Similar because: both anti-religious writings, concentrating on Christianity, of which both contend their unnatural doctrines. Both have humour and readable in one sitting.
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engelska (36)  katalanska (1)  Alla språk (37)
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America's greatest satirist takes on the not so Holy Bible and thumps it. Imagine the hymn to constipation sung on the Ark. Brilliant, laugh out loud sarcasm unleashed. Completely understandable that he left instructions for this not to be published until after his passing. The only ding is on this particular edition - no lettering on the spine and no page numbers But it was the only edition I could find readily available (I had lost a better edition years ago) and is still required reading. Highly recommended. ( )
  dhaxton | Nov 26, 2023 |
Kind of different. Very bitter sarcasm about God and evils in the world. Mishmash of other writings.
I skimmed the last half. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Letters from the Earth collects writings from the papers Twain left after his death. It has the usual merits and flaws of that genre. On the one hand, it gives fascinating glimpses into Twain's thoughts and makes me wish that he had had just a little more time to polish some of these pieces. On the other hand, even the best of the pieces need lots of polishing. They are generally incomplete and obviously early drafts, and one or two pieces, I struggled to get through. That said, the first and last piece are a good read even in their present state and each could have been quite brilliant if fully developed.
( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
The cover of my paperback copy of Letters from the Earth boasts "new uncensored writings by Mark Twain" with a little more significance than such labels usually hold. The contents of this volume were the very first to be edited for posthumous publication by the Twain literary estate, but Twain's daughter Clara Clemens' misgivings denied publication to the book until 1962, after the editor's own death! By then, several of the individual texts included had seen individual publication in periodicals and a book of Twain scholarship.

Although she gave as her motive the concern that the book's contents would misrepresent Twain's actual ideas as she understood them, a reader will readily infer that Clara's fear was chiefly about offending against conventional piety. Nearly half of the book consists of satires grounded in biblical mythology: the title piece (largely in the voice of the angel Satan), the "Papers of the Adam Family" thus organized and titled by editor Bernard DeVoto, and the brief "Letter to the Earth." The first of these, and apparently the most finished in Twain's own manuscript, is clearly modeled on Montesquieu's Persian Letters, in which a traveler from a distant land reports back to his own people on the bewildering and exotic features of the culture shared by the reader and the actual author of the text.

"Letters from the Earth" at one point refers to sex as "the Supreme Art. They practiced it diligently and were filled with contentment. The Deity ordered them to practice it. They obeyed, this time. But it was just as well it was not forbidden, for they would have practiced it anyhow, if a thousand Deities had forbidden it" (25). Satan supplies a sober and accurate appraisal of the Christian revelation: "... as the meek and gentle Savior he was a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament--oh, incomparably more atrocious than ever he was at the very worst in those old days!" (46)

The "Papers of the Adam Family" treat antediluvian society with attention to the premise that the long lifespans of characters in Genesis--even assuming that they waited a few extra decades before parenthood--made for a society many living generations deep, and thus strangely dense and hierarchical. Several of these "translations from the Adamic" are in the voice of Eve, "the Most Illustrious, Most Powerful, Most Gracious, Most Reverend, her Grandeur, the Acting Head of the Human Race" (91-2). There is also a focus on the early tenth century as clocked from Eden, consisting mostly of thinly-veiled satire on Twain's own time, which certainly had catastrophe imminent.

A number of short pieces include a whimsical cat-focused story (where Twain in passing vaunts his own "conscience torpid through virtuous inaction," 113), a merciless criticism of the prose style of James Fenimore Cooper, a reasonably funny parody of etiquette instructions, some travelogue from England, and a few other essays.

The book concludes with its longest and strangest item. "The Great Dark" (title furnished by the editor) is a horror story that hinges on its protagonist's efforts and failures to assign reality to his actual circumstances after being subjected to a dream-world of simulation. Latter-day readers might see this piece as a precocious Matrix sort of story. (Who needs wetware and full-body VR when you have a Victorian microscope?) But of course the central conundrum goes back to Chuang Tzu and probably to the dawn of reflective thought.
1 rösta paradoxosalpha | Jul 4, 2022 |
4/26/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 26, 2022 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Mark Twainprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Devoto, BernardRedaktörhuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
DeVoto, BernardRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Smith, Henry NashFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking.
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Please note: Letters from the Earth was written by Mark Twain. If you have this work, please list Mark Twain as the primary author, and use the "Other Authors" field to list Bernard DeVoto as Editor. This will allow your book to be combined with the copies on the Mark Twain author page.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

Letters from the Earth is one of Mark Twain's posthumously published works. The essays were written during a difficult time in Twain's life; he was deep in debt and had lost his wife and one of his daughters. The book consists of a series of short stories, many of which deal with God and Christianity. The title story consists of letters written by the archangel Satan to archangels, Gabriel and Michael,about his observations on the curious proceedings of earthly life and the nature of man's religions. Other short stories in the book include a bedtime story about a family of cats Twain wrote for his daughters, and an essay explaining why an anaconda is morally superior to Man.

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