Relevant Quote #60
"Too few critics of his own kind have written about Mark Twain. What he suffers from in the midst of this twentieth and American century is a lack of peers. He needs somebody like Walter Bagehot or even H.L. Mencken or James Gibbons Huneker. He was a man of the world. He was a man of the nineteenth-century American world where Presidents chewed tobacco and billionaires couldn't spell and vast audiences flocked to hear Bob Ingersoll (whom Twain in this book calls 'the silver-tongued infidel') and the labor movement was dominated by another silver-tongued cornball named Terence Powderly, who could do nothing but orate, and Thanatopsis was considered the most philosophical utterance in the English language, and a small gang of merciless and ignorant brigands put through America's Five-Year Plans, and finally 'overtook and surpassed' Europe. He was a man of that world that Henry James fled in uncomprehending horror. We have only to look abroad to understand exactly the kind of world it was. It was a world of driving expansion and brutal hard work that brooked no interference or dissent. A world of 'primitive accumulation'."
-- Kenneth Rexroth