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Few authors have captivated the American penchant for curiosity like Samuel Longhorne Clemens. Many have called his cantankerous alter ego, Mark Twain, the greatest American humorist-philosopher of his age-if not of all times. With his wry observations and forthright humor-unleashed in his particularly pithy paragraphs-Mark Twain became one of the most prolific satirists in American literature.
The New York Times editorial, reporting of his death on April 22, 1910, said. “ He has been quoted in common conversation oftener, perhaps, than any of his fellow-countrymen, including Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln.
In 1909, Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “ I came in with Haley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Haley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
His prediction was accurate-Mark Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, one day after the comet's closest approach to earth.
In Mark Twain's Guide to Audacious Sarcasm-volume 1, editor Lowell Smith has assembled twenty of the classic cantankerous tales and wry observations of Mark Twain’s celestial career.