The Irrepressible Twain

All  you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.  ~Mark Twain

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it–and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again–and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.  ~Mark Twain

Sam and I often talk about how difficult Mark Twain is to quote from memory. Something about his language is convoluted–the first one above is relatively easy, but just try memorizing that second quote! But what a great idea that I have never heard expressed elsewhere.

 Of course, one of my favorite Twain quotes is “Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.” And then there’s “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” (I couldn’t agree more.) And another runner-up: “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

I am grateful for humorists. Just today I checked out a Dave Barry audiobook, and was talking to someone about my affinity for Steven Wright. The great thing about Mark Twain is how much wisdom was contained in his humor. I think of him as irrepressible, irascible, irreplaceable.

Who’s your favorite funny person?


4 Responses to The Irrepressible Twain

  1. asqfish says:

    Dave Barry!

  2. Bill says:

    And as a writer of haiku, a very concentrated form, I cherish this, from “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar:”

    On the adjective: when in doubt, leave it out.

  3. papaw arthur says:

    Dave Barry. I’ve read several Barry books.

    One of my top ten Twain quotes is:

    Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

  4. quotesqueen says:

    Thanks for that Twain quote–I love it! Will add it to my collection…

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