and his Jumping Frog," a story written by Mark Twain, the pseudonym Clemens had first used while writ- Tropical Classical: Essays from Several Directions by Pico Iyer ing letters as a journalist. Clemens then had the idea of giving humor- Knopf, 1997, 313 pp., $25 azine features suffers from having too many different kinds of writing tured pieces from Time magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Islands, ous lectures based on his travel ex- periences, making Mark Twain a theatrical attraction in order to gain an audience. His idea was so successful that when he married Olivia This collection of Pico Iyer's mag- in it. It includes some twenty dena- Langdon in 1869, newspapers reported the marriage of Mark Twain, not Samuel Clemens. Hoffman recounts Clemens' his- alongside heftier articles from The Smithsonian and the New York Review tory of personal tragedies: loss of family members and friends, at- of Books. The book includes everything from longish travel pieces about Ethiopia and Kathmandu to the comma and "Confessions of a tempted suicide, disastrous invest- ments, and the eventual humiliation glib toss-offs about the wonders of Frequent Hier." Its section headings are "Places," "People," "Books," of being forced by enormous
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1997
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