Saturday, December 04, 2004

I remember now! Joan of Arc!

Ah, I just remembered one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog: I like to talk about books. I don't belong to a book club; my intellectual side would like nothing better than to sit around with people eating cookies and talking books, but my barbarian side says, "NO! Book clubs are for ladies and homosexuals! They will be CRUSHED!" So.

Anyway, I just read Joan of Arc by Mark Twain. Not too long ago I read his Autobiography. I'd had both books for years and hadn't gotten around to reading them until now. The Autobiography edited by Charles Neider was wonderful. Mr. Clemens wrote the last chapter approximately four months before he died. The whole book is filled with the Mark Twain style that everyone loves and it is probably chock full of lies about his life as well. But it feels honest, the emotion is honest, so that's alright. It wouldn't be Mark Twain if he didn't embellish a bit anyhow.

I didn't know that Mark Twain had written a book chronicling the life of Joan of Arc until I found it on the shelves of a bookstore. Now I know that Mark Twain considered Joan of Arc to be his best book, and he loved it more than any other work. He spent fourteen years in the writing and preparation of it, and when you read it, you can tell that his respect and admiration for the character of Joan of Arc was immense. His narrator is the page, secretary, and childhood friend of Joan, and Twain went out of his way to make sure that all of his facts are correct. I don't really know what more to say about Joan of Arc. Something in her character called out some really powerful emotions in a cynical, agnostic American who, as one reviewer of the book said, "was not disposed to see God at work in the melancholy affairs of men".

A good book. Normally I’d write more, but I finished this book two days ago, so I really missed that first rush of emotion. That's all on books for now.


At 5:59 AM, Blogger Spill The Beans said...

I'll have to remember this, I'm always on the lookout for good books.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find Twain's great biography about Joan of Arc online at


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