FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR: New South Wales

And self is back to reading Twain.

She’s on Chapter X of Following the Equator:  “Some Barbarous English Laws.”

The opening quote is: “Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Twain lets his indignation/sarcasm go flat out in this chapter. The excerpt below is probably his mildest in this section:

When the colony was about eighteen or twenty years old it was discovered that the land was specially fitted for the wool culture. Prosperity followed, commerce with the world began, by and by rich mines of the noble metal were opened, immigrants flowed in, capital likewise. The result is the great and wealthy and enlightened commonwealth of New South Wales.

It is a country that is rich in mines, wool ranches, trams, railways, steamship lines, schools, newspapers, botanical gardens, art-galleries, libraries, museums, hospitals, learned societies; it is the hospitable home of every species of material enterprise, and there is a church at every man’s door, and a race-track over the way.

Twain’s next stop was Australia, where he was to spend three-and-a-half months.

(Self still going to be quoting from Clockwork Angel. She’s just alternating between the Twain and that)

Stay tuned.

5 Comments

  1. May 16, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I’ve never read Twain outside of required school work. Good for you! But I saw CLOCKWORK and now think I should finally get into CLOCKWORK ORANGE…

    • May 16, 2015 at 3:17 am

      Twain is funny. I grew up in the Philippines and he was not on any curriculum there. I found him after I moved to the States. And, CLOCKWORK ORANGE is really dark. You saw the movie with Malcolm McDowell? Because it’s about re-conditioning and psychological damage.

      • May 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm

        I guess I’d have to be in a special mood for Twain. I’ve always been a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s films, so I actually saw CLOCKWORK ORANGE a long time ago. I’ve waited on the book because…hmm. Probably because I was lazy and knew the book would require some extra brain power. But the concept of taking a completely selfish jerk (I’m sure cruder words would be more appropriate, but let’s keep it nice) and making the audience still pity him is quite a massive feat, so I know I should study the book sometime.

      • May 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

        I didn’t really pity the Malcolm MacDowell character — he horrified me. But the book — I read it a long time ago. Let me know if you get started on it this summer. Maybe I’ll do a read-along!

      • May 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm

        Neat idea! Hmmm. I’ll have to dig through my basement to find the book. I’ll keep you posted!


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