Mark Twain & The Army of Darkness will be an opportunity for horror-comedy fans to m-eat the brains behind this barbaric brand of books: Don Borchert (Tor Publishing’s recent release The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead), W. Bill Czolgosz (appearing via Skype, author of the forthcoming Simon & Schuster release Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Zombie Jim) and Joe R. Lansdale (creator of IDW Publishing’s forthcoming Classics Mutilated novella Dread Island). Attempting to keep the gore-filled frenzy at a minimum will be program moderator Sam Hatch, host of WWUH’s Culture Dogs and frequent guest on 96.5TIC’s Damon Scott Show and WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show. In addition, the audience will get a sneak peek at scenes from a new zombie movie being shot in Connecticut – Ninja Zombies!
What would Mark Twain make of the recent spate of undead torment being heaped upon classic literature? Evidence indicates he probably would have joined in the fun, at least as far as Jane Austen was concerned: “It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.” (Letter to W. D. Howells, January 18, 1909). He further states, “Everytime I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” (Letter to Joseph Twichell, September 13,1898) Turnabout being fair play, Twain gets his own unnatural treatment with this spate of new books.
The October 30th presentation of Mark Twain & The Army of Darkness begins at 4 p.m. The discussion with Borchert, Czolgosz (via Skype), Lansdale and Hatch plus the film segment should be about 90 minutes in duration. Borchert and Lansdale will be on hand to sign copies of their books which will be on sale after the program. Tickets for the event are only $5 and can be reserved by calling (860) 280-3130. Members of The Mark Twain House & Museum (living or undead) are free. To dig up more information, visit MarkTwainHouse.org.
Steve Courtney, publicist at The Mark Twain House & Museum, is the author of Joseph Hopkins Twichell, The Life and Times of Mark Twain's Closest Friend, which won the 2009 Connecticut Book Award for biography. Previously, Courtney was a journalis at the Hartford Courant for thirty years.
The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author’s Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works during the years he lived there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. In addition to providing tours of Twain’s restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain’s literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m. For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit www.marktwainhouse.org. Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
Opened in 2003, The Mark Twain Museum Center offers guests an opportunity to learn more about Mark Twain, his family, the historic house, and the author's legacy. This state-of-the-art facility houses our ticket desk; the Aetna Gallery with a permanent exhibition on Twain's life and work; a rotating exhibition hall, The Hartford Financial Services Theatre, showing a Ken Burns mini-documentary on Twain; classroom space; the lecture hall-style Lincoln Financial Auditorium; The Mark Twain Store; entertaining spaces like the soaring Great Hall and the sunny second floor café/patio area.
In addition, the Museum Center houses our research library, which is open by appointment only. Featuring walls etched with some of his most famous quotations, this LEED-certified green museum is a treasure-filled way to begin and end your visit to The Mark Twain House.
Special Centennial Year Exhibit: Legacy
February 2010 through January 2011
Open during regular museum hours. Exhibit included with admission.
Legacy examines the enduring and evolving legacy of Mark Twain and his work. Famed author Tom Wolfe sent a long, carefully calligraphied scroll describing what Mark Twain meant to him. Political thriller writer David Baldacci answered the question "How would you describe Mark Twain's legacy?" with these thoughtful words: "Never before or since has a writer so completely owned and shared through his writings the soul of a nation that had yet to find itself." And humorist Roy Blount, Jr., summed it up: "He's still funny!" These are only three of about two dozen quotations that adorn the "celebrity wall" in The Mark Twain House & Museum's new exhibition, Legacy, which traces the inheritance of wisdom, insight and uproarious humor that Samuel L. Clemens left America and the world.
This year marks the Centennial of the author's death, and Legacy is a key part of The Mark Twain House & Museum's commemoration. The Hartford Financial Group, Inc., is the Mark Twain House & Museum's Centennial Sponsor. Legacy begins with Twain's death in 1910 and the media coverage that surrounded it. It examines how he was presented and perceived during the 1935 centennial of his birth; the 1985 observances of the 150th anniversary of his birth and the centennial of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - and how he is regarded today.
The exhibition includes historic items, such as the program and invitation for Twain's funeral; photographs, newspaper articles, letters and popular culture items such as Campbell's Soup ads, Toby jugs and a Soviet postage stamp from 1960 depicting Mark Twain and his various characters. It features quotations about Twain--pro and con--from people such as Booker T. Washington, William Faulkner, Benito Mussolini and Thomas Edison, as well as the contributions from modern celebrities. There is a reading area where visitors can browse through novels, children's books and other works that have used Twain's writings or characters as inspiration. Drawing materials are available for younger visitors to document their responses. Legacy is sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and The George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Mr. Alan Parker, Co-Trustees.
Yours Truly, Huckleberry Finn
A 125th Anniversary Tribute
Open during regular museum hours. Exhibit included with admission.
It’s always banned somewhere, and that’s been true since it first appeared in print in the United States in 1885. It’s also been called the founding work of modern American literature by no less than Ernest Hemingway.
Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes the reader down the Mississippi, through tragic family feuds, into the world of Missouri con men and respectable riverside families, through wild confusions of identity and past sweeping vistas of river scenery. Most important, it takes the reader through the intricacies of a boy’s spirit, and his conscience – in a society where he has to choose between his friendship for the slave Jim and the lies that everyone tells him are truths.
When the book finishes with “The End,” the words are followed by the simple closing: “Yours Truly, Huck Finn.”
To mark the 125th anniversary of the U.S. publication of the book, The Mark Twain House & Museum has collected rarely seen artifacts from its collection in a new major exhibit.
“Yours Truly, Huck Finn” opens August 9 and runs until January 11, 2011.
The exhibit is curated by Patti Philippon, the museum’s Beatrice Fox Auerbach Chief Curator. It includes the rare “salesman's dummy,” the bound prospectus that was shown to potential purchasers by the publisher’s door-to-door salesmen; first editions of the book; and an early magazine serialization. There are important firsts, such as first printings in other languages, appearances in film, TV, and other popular culture media.
An activity area for children will help bring the book alive for the younger set. The exhibit is open during regular museum hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m. There is a museum-only admission of $5.00 for visitors not touring the Mark Twain House. This reduced admission includes access to all exhibits, the grounds, the museum patio and the Ken Burns introductory film on Twain’s life.
The exhibit is sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), well known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. Twain is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), which has been called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).
Twain was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. Twain was very popular, and his keen wit and incisive satire earned praise from critics and peers. Upon his death he was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".
Buildings associated with Twain, including some of his many homes, have been preserved as museums. His birthplace is preserved in Florida, Missouri. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri preserves the setting for some of the author's best known work. The home of childhood friend Laura Hawkins, said to be the inspiration for his fictional character Becky Thatcher, is preserved as the "Thatcher House".In May 2007, a painstaking reconstruction of the home of Tom Blankenship, the inspiration for Huckleberry Finn, was opened to the public. The family home he had built in Hartford, Connecticut, where he and his wife raised their three daughters, is preserved and open to visitors as the Mark Twain House.