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Mark Twain

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Carol Burnett Will Receive the Mark Twain Humor Prize This Year

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is going to Carol Burnett this year, the Kennedy Center announced today. The lifetime achievement award, given out annually by the Kennedy Center, is the most prestigious accolade in comedy, and this is [...]

By Bradford Evans

How Mark Twain Made Robbery Lemons Into Comedy Lemonade

Man, Mark Twain was holding down the early 20th century comedy scene like a champion. After he was robbed in 1908, Twain wrote a notice for all future burglars and posted it on his front door. It includes all sorts of helpful advice for those [...]

By Hallie Cantor

The Accidental Comedy Masterpiece Mark Twain Called ‘Perfect’

In his introduction to the 1883 American edition of English As She Is Spoke, Mark Twain wrote some of the most glowing praise he’s ever laid on any work, ever: "Whatsoever is perfect in its kind, in literature, is imperishable: nobody can [...]

By Mike Drucker

The Union Rat Descends Upon Gramercy Park

Edwin Booth

In 1888, Edwin Booth, the famed Shakespearean actor, along with Mark Twain, General William Tecumseh Sherman, and a slew of other distinguished American notables from the nineteenth century, formed their own club where they could hang out and smoke cigars and sip brandy and yap about the dramatic arts. They also created a fund to help struggling actors. They called themselves "The Players," and their club was run out Booth's old townhouse at 16 Gramercy Park, where it is still in operation. In the past few days, the club's picturesque Stanford White façade, facing the tony private park, has been partially blocked by a sight uncommon in this quiet residential neighborhood: the union rat. It's a sign of lingering troubles within.

Gay Talese Shames Us at the Launch of ‘Lapham's Quarterly’

Talese
As expected, reproofs of modern American journalism were flying Wednesday night at the launch of Harper’s editor emeritus Lewis Lapham's new magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, the first issue of which contains essays and correspondence on the topic of war from writers as diverse as Sun Tzu and Mark Twain. Needless to say, neither of them was at the party. But Gay Talese was!