Faking West, Going East

New York Times, April 24, 2010.

In 1871, Mrs. Stowe was living in a mansion in Hartford, when a 36-year-old writer came to town and built a bigger one barely a block away. There, practically next door, he proceeded to overtake and replace her as the most famous American writer of all time. He remains the title-holder this morning, in fact…the 100th anniversary, plus four days, of his death, April the 21st, 1910: MARK TWAIN.

Later American literary stars like Hemingway, Faulkner, Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize-winners one and all, never had more than a spoonful of the great gouts of fame that Twain β€” and Mrs. Stowe, for that matter β€” enjoyed everywhere in the world. From the moment he published his tall tale of the California mining camps, β€œThe Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” in 1865, the name Mark Twain began to romp around the world. He was looked upon as some kind of Huckleberry Homer.

New York Times