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"After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of doom -- a queer custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities, away here in this age of abundant newspapers. Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it."
Mark Twain

This quote from Twain really struck me as interesting because he's talking about getting rid of arcane customs here and how he thinks that it is unnecessary to read off information found in a church bulletin.  The same day I read this we had just had a conversation at work about what should be discussed in person in a meeting and what we could just email about.  Twain's displeasure at the repetition struck me as funny in light of that fact that we are still struggling with how to negotiate it 100 years after his death. 

 One of the things that struck me about this book was the time-less quality of some of the themes.  The wonder and imagination of childhood, the internal struggle of good vs. evil and whether or not to be a tattletale. I hadn't read Tom Sawyer in years and re-reading it for this years Read Me Treasure Valley celebration made me to remember why I like reading classics. Because they are usually classics for a reason, something timeless and applicable to the present or the past in each of them.  

I enjoyed reading it again and had forgotten how funny Mark Twain's writing is. I remembered that Tom witnessed a murder, that he got caught in a cave, and that he was friends with Huckleberry Finn, but I didn't remember his relationship with Becky Thatcher, the way he accidentally faked his death, and the challenges he faced at school. Many of the stories in Twain's writing have become part of the cultural fabric of our lives. We remember them without knowing quite where we remember them from. 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is this year's Boise Community Read. More information can be found at www.readmetv.com.

 


Comments

03/26/2012 19:23

Thanks for info

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09/08/2012 06:25

good post

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09/25/2012 01:17

Many thanks for info

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