By Mark Twain, Visit Amazon's Shelley Fisher Fishkin Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, , Frederik Pohl, James A. Miller

Extract from Captain Stormfield's stopover at to Heaven used to be released as a Christmas present e-book in October 1909, six months earlier than Twain's dying. Combining technology fiction with a satiric examine traditional perspectives of the afterlife, Twain can provide an fun and trenchant statement on human self-importance and pretensions. a lot of the humor of the tale rests at the sharp discrepancies among Stormfield's cocksure expectancies of heaven and its fact. The Captain discovers, for example, that the planet Earth, faraway from being the "crown of creation," is basically one in all numerous planets sending its departed population to the heavenly precincts. certainly, we're up to now from the heart of items that it takes Stormfield 30 years of hurtling via area to get to heaven, merely to discover, whilst he arrives, that the top clerk can't locate our planet on his large map. In his advent, author Frederik Pohl writes of this innovative and thought-provoking tale, "It's humorous, it truly is colourful and it does the issues that Twain meant it to do--one of them being to demonstrate the silliness of the backwoods models of Heaven and of faith in general."

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Extra resources for Extract From Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven (1909) (Oxford Mark Twain)

Sample text

Si Higgins he’s ben over to Kaintuck n’ married a high-toned gal thar, outen the fust families, an’ he’s come back to the Forks with jist a hell’s-mint o’ whoop-jamboree notions, folks says. He’s tuck an’ fixed up the ole house like they does in Kaintuck, he say, an’ tha’s ben folks come cler from Turpentine for to see it. ” “I dono. Hit’s what he calls it. Ole Mam Higgins, she tole me. She say she warn’t gwyne to hang out in no sich a dern hole like a hog. Says it’s mud, or some sich kind o’ nastness that sticks on n’ kivers up everything.

Nudging the Hawkinses along is the flamboyant backwoods speculator and loudmouth opportunist “Colonel” Beriah Sellers, a friend of Si’s. Sellers’s get-rich schemes inevitably propel him to Washington, accompanied by Hawkins’s son and daughter, Washington and Laura. Laura Hawkins, brilliant and cursed with “the fatal gift of beauty” and unlucky in love, becomes a cynical player in Washington political society. Thus she leads the reader into a demimonde of crooked senators, money-grafting lobbyists, toadying journalists, sinister bosses, and lecherous committee chairmen.

Ah, well-a-day! ’ ” “You are a great, good, noble soul, Si Hawkins, and I am an honored woman to be the wife of such a man”—and the tears stood in her eyes when she said it. “We will go to Missouri. You are out of your place, here, among these groping dumb creatures. We will find a higher place, where you can walk with your own kind, and be understood when you speak—not stared at as if you were talking some foreign tongue. I would go anywhere, anywhere in the wide world with you. ” “Spoken like yourself, my child!

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