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Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “The Great American Novel“.
“Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn’t something creditable created in place of it? God had His opportunity; He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly–a lark which must have cost him a regret or two when He came to think it over & observe effects.” – Letter to William Dean Howells, 25 January 1900
“As to the human race. There are many pretty and winning things about the human race. It is perhaps the poorest of all the inventions of all the gods but it has never suspected it once. There is nothing prettier than its naive and complacent appreciation of itself. It comes out frankly and proclaims without bashfulness or any sign of a blush that it is the noblest work of God. It has had a billion opportunities to know better, but all signs fail with this ass. I could say harsh things about it but I cannot bring myself to do it–it is like hitting a child.” — Autobiographical dictation, 25 June 1906
“We all belong to the nasty stinking little human race, & of course it is not nice for God’s beloved vermin to scoff at each other… Oh, we are a nasty little lot–& to think there are people who would like to save us & continue us. It won’t happen if I have any influence.” — Letter to William Dean Howells, 2 April 1899
“Can any plausible excuse be furnished for the crime of creating the human race?” — from The New York Times, “Hartford Museum Purchases Barrels Full of Twain’s Old Books,” July 31, 1997