A couple of weeks ago I shared a portion of a Mark Twain quote on my Facebook page. The original quote reads:
“I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
As a Jane Austen fan I don’t feel the same sentiment at all. I love all the subtleties and ironies and activities that happen throughout Pride and Prejudice. Instead, on Facebook, I remarked that it seemed strange that Twain would keep trying to read a book he did not seem to like. I started to feel my own sense of pride (for Jane) and prejudice (against Mr. Twain).
Since then I keep coming across other quotes he made, some of which are instantly recognisable even if I wasn’t aware who had originally made the remark. In fact, the more you look, the more you realise Mark Twain was the king of quotable quotes.
Here are some of my favourites from him:
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
“Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
“Books are the liberated spirits of men.” (…or women!)
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
"The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”
Let me know if you have a favourite Mark Twain quote. I’d be most interested…
And do join me on Facebook!