Mark Twain's "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" best short story ever or best short story ever? Discuss.
I will say this: it is one of my favorite short fiction pieces of all time. So much so that an original copy of the 1899 Harper’s magazine in which it first appeared is one of my prized possessions.
Discussion of the story and its literary merits would take much more time than I have to give to it now. But you’ve inspired me to write something about it soon.
AMAZING! Mark Twain in Nikola Tesla’s laboratory in 1894.
I love this photo so much. I wonder what they talked about.
I hope they got drunk and used sparks to set things on fire.
Oh, it’s WAY better than that. An experience with one of Tesla’s inventions made Twain NEARLY SHIT HIS PANTS. From a Tesla biography:This contraption, he explained, “consists of a platform supported on elastic cushions that are ade to oscillate by means of compressed air. One day, I stepped on the platform and the vibrations imparted were transmitted to my body….Evidently, these isochronous rapid oscillations stimulated powerfully the peristaltic movements which propel the food-stuffs through the alimentary channels.”
“You mean, it’ll make me regular?” Twain inquired.
“Precisely, and without the use of elixirs, specific remedies or internal applications whatever.”
Without further ado, Twain stepped aboard as Tesla tried to stop his assistants from chuckling. As Twain had been so enthusiastic, Tesla neglected to inform him that peristaltic action is induced almost immediately.
“Suddenly, Twain felt an unspeakable and pressing necessity which had to be promptly satisfied,” Tesla told the Johnsons the next day to their tearful glee, for he had to jump off the platform and find his way swiftly to the lavatory.
“I think I’ll start with the electrotheraphy machines,” Twain said upon his return. ”Wouldn’t want those widows to get too healthy all at one shot.”
What an incredible collaboration of
I want to be at that party.
I wrote a short story about this encounter a couple of years ago, but never polished it up for publication. Now I am inspired to do so.
"The dream always starts the same way. The sound of footsteps in the snow. Silence. Then singing. Sweet, perfect tones from a young voice that will never age."
Bit from a short story in progress. You can read the entire first draft over here if you’re so inclined.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with various thoughts on computer gaming in general, handheld gaming (e.g. iPhone) more specifically, and the concepts of “play” and “pretend” in particular.
On a completely different note, I’ve been working on a story that I originally planned to shoot as a short film. I have a good foundation for the tale, but I’ve been struggling with alternate third acts (such as they are in short fiction) and multiple possible endings.
This morning those two branches of thought merged unexpectedly. To wit: why not turn this story into a great gaming experience for the iPad?
It would be a single app that would tell parts of the tale in iBook format (yes, you’d actually have to read words. I know, right?), and parts of it in video format as filmed scenes. Because of the multiple possibilities for endings and branching of the story, it would be an immersive Choose Your Own Adventure sort of game.
I don’t have it all worked out in my head quite yet (I just thought about it for the first time a couple of hours ago), but I think combining written stories, filmed scenes, and an aspect of reader/viewer interaction via gameplay of some sort would be a perfect use for the iPad.
So. This is the point in my brainfit where I ask any of my iPhone developer pals if they’d like to get on board and really make this happen.