- Publisher: Reader's Digest Association (1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0895774151
- ISBN-13: 978-0895774156
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,877,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The celebrated jumping frog and other stories Hardcover – 1 Jan 1992
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In each one you see a new perspective, and a new since of Mark Twain's imagination.
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog" is a humorous story about a man who had a frog that could jump higher than any other. Well, he made a bet with a sly man, and he went off to catch a frog for the man, the man filled the "Celebrated Jumping Frog" with quiall shot, and the frog wouldn't move. It is funny, and he uses a very heavy southern accent when he is telling the story, sometimes it is hard to read, but still very funny.
"The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg" is the second best of these stories. Hadleyburg is a town that every other town wants to be, it is clean, small, and has never been corrupted. No one ever falls into temptations here. A man that was badly treated here wanted his revenge... The story is very good, and has a great meaning in the end, every mortal falls into temptation, and those who think they dont are liars.
This story goes along the same story line as "Was it Heaven? or Hell?" It's about two old aunts whose niece is very sick, the daughter of the niece also becomes ill. The aunts hate lieing, but in the end they lie continually to the mother, and telling her that her daughter is just fine. It leaves an open ending, so you can decide if is "Was Heaven, or Hell."
"A Fable" is about a bunch of animals who stumble across the mirror. The cat says it is a picture of a cat, the elephant said he only saw a big beautiful elephant, and so on, and so on. The moral, by the cat is:
"You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of your imagination. You may not see your ears, but they will be there."
Isn't Mark Twain great? I would never think of a story like that, that would get you such a good grade on an English report.
The story that totally blew me away was "An Extract From Captain StormFields's Visit to Heaven." It's about a man who dies, and spends 30 years in space looking for heaaven, he ends up in another part of heaven that isn't for his world, here is an extract from the book:
"Well, Sir," I says, pretty humble, "I dont seem to make out which world it is I'm from. But you may know it from this--it's the world the Saviour saved." "He bowed his head" (The clerk at that heaven) "at the Name. Then he says, gently--'The wolrds He has saved are like the gates of heaven in number--none can count them."
Mark Twain was very imaginative in his writings, and could make a wonderful story out of any little thing. "A Dog's Tale" is sad, and joyous, and humorous in just 12 pages (Hardback), I dont want to ruin this story for you, so I'll let you read it yourself.
These are all very great stories, and I wouldn't have written so much if I thought otherwise.
The story is not half bad and I understand that it became quite popular and was one of the first writings to bring Twain into the limelight. Even so, I do not feel that story - short as it is - stands the test of time as do other writings of Mark Twain. Don't be fooled though, the story is a nice quick and light read, especially if you want to divert your attention from the lull of boredom or any other times of inactivity.
To make a long story short, the Jumping Frog was translated into French with the objective of demoralizing Twain's humor. Obviously, the humor in this tale was more in between the lines and in the form it was written than about the story itself (which was silly and not funny.)
As Twain says, however, the translator "has not translated it at all; he has simply mixed it all up; it is no more like the Jumping Frog when he gets through with it than I am like a meridian of longitude." To prove his point, Twain proceeded to translate the French translation "back into a civilized language" [i.e. English] to show that the French translation did not do justice to his work.
This book has the original tale in the first pages, then the French translation, and then the English version of the French translation.
It is more a personal vendetta from Twain than a work of literature. But it is an important work for those interested in translation.