January 12, 2004

*My Case For Twain

I’ve been asked why I quoted Churchill in this post but not Twain. Notwithstanding certain similarities, Churchill and Twain, in my very humble opinion, were two of the most important figures of the 20th century, operating on very different but distinct planes.

Churchill, the figure we visualize steadfast against a genocidal Hitler across the English Channel, but Twain, seldom recognized as a player, if not one of the key figures, in the battle to abolish an equally evil human endeavor otherwise known as slavery.

Twain’s Adventures Of Huckelberry Finn, was the literary extension of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and, when all was said and done, an equally damning statement on slavery. Taking nothing away from Lincoln and the immeasurable sacrifices of the American Civil War, it took great courage and an inhuman literary talent to pull off what Twain accomplished.

So, at last, my favorite Twain quotation:
Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.

‘nuff said, me thinks.

Posted by at January 12, 2004 10:21 PM


Well said, er, except that Twain wasn't really 20th Century. ;P

P.S. Wussup wit' Jen? She bored with talking to us or somethin'?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 12, 2004 10:31 PM

Tuning Spork-

"..except that Twain wasn't really 20th Century"

Touche'. That's why I advise against blogging after a glass of scotch.

Posted by: Bob Whaley at January 13, 2004 06:07 AM

Mark Twain died in 1910 so the quote could well have been from the 20th century--but, alas!--I have a cd-rom that claims to be his COMPLETE works and that quote is no where to be found--which doesn't necessarily mean he never said it--but does beg the question--what, dear Jen, is your source? And until anyone knows if he actually said it, this thread is, well . . . kind of pointless . . .

Kar flicka--I'm not an academic demanding footnotes, but learned a long time ago you can't believe everything you read on the internet, much less the traditional press not to mention text books and before publishing anything on a blog one should have the goods, otherwise some smart ass will make yours red, right quick. Traditionaly, historians try to verify what they write before exposing themselves in the blogworld.

Who was it that said? "Rick, who doesn't seem to read this blog on a regular basis . . . "

Posted by: Rick at January 13, 2004 11:47 PM


Please refrain from tarring Jennifer with the brush intended for me. The Twain quotation does indeed exist so this thread is indeed alive, regardless what you’ve read in text books or on the internet.

It appears that you purchased a “pig in a poke” with the CD that claims to include all of Twain’s writings. May I suggest “Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essay: Volume One: 1852-1890. In it you will find the complete quotation referenced under Twain’s “Consistency” speech delivered in 1887”

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will.”

So, the next time some smart-ass asks you where you picked up this quote, you’ll be able to tell them.

Posted by: Bob Whaley at January 14, 2004 10:56 AM

(And it was Pete who said "Rick, who doesn't seem to read this blog on a regular basis . . . ")

Posted by: Neutral Observer at January 14, 2004 11:14 AM

oops . . . sorry gang didn't mean to rile any feathers. Thanks for source.

Posted by: rick at January 14, 2004 06:20 PM

That's ok Rick, we like to get our feathers riled from time to time. Especially Daniel who has a thing for feathers, but that's a story for another post...

Posted by: Pete at January 14, 2004 09:07 PM


Our feathers are fine. Have a good one.

Posted by: Bob Whaley at January 15, 2004 04:53 AM