"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Notable Quote: On Truth and Fiction by Mark Twain

I haven’t had a “Notable Quote” entry in a while.  While reading Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi I researched some of his quotes as I do with every author I read.  There were quite a few gems with Twain, as you can imagine.  There were probably more biting or insightful quotes than this one, but this one launched me into a thought excursion.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.

The first half of that supporting statement is rather obvious: “fiction is obligated to stick to possibilities.”  Once you build a fictional world and characters, you have to be consistent.  The second half statement, “truth isn’t,” is profound.  Real life and real people don’t have to be consistent because very often real life is not, and real people are most definitely not.
The quote is also interesting because a reader will not believe an author when he is inconsistent because he feels it violates real life.  But real life violates real life all the time, and we feel comfortable with that.


  1. Of course, this immediately reminds me of the ultimate Truth and how absurd it seems.

    1. Yes. What struck me was how limited in mind are those who rule out God's possibilities.

  2. (((But real life violates real life all the time, and we feel comfortable with that.)))

    Manny! With my limited grade ten non completed education of the early sixties and the little that I've now learned about Mark Twain while travelling to Hawaii with my wife during these last fifteen days of visiting your U.S.A. I'm convinced that this man Mark Twain is only human and he really did not know what he was getting himself into when he was invited to visit Hawaii and made a comment as to what he believed would help Americans and longer story short he simply said in so many words that if "The Americans" could in the nineteen teen century build ships to bring Americans to visit Hawaii then this country could be influence.

    Longer story short, I certainly don't believe that Mark Twain knew that his influence would change such an impact on what would eventually take place in this godly land which would bring illness in their country with no cure.

    Please forgive me Manny if I've over express myself and truth be known I've still got many comments left to answer because of the visit that I made of about fifteen days to Hawaii's wonderful country.

    God Bless

  3. I hear YA Manny! Jet Lag made you make such a comment Victor! :(

    Long story short, I really enjoyed visiting our American cousins again and believe "IT" or not, "I" even made a few more friends! :)


    1. Victor! I've missed you. Thanks for stopping back. I bet you loved Hawaii. My wife and I went there for our honeymoon over 22 years ago. It was like paradise, though I have to say the city sections were crowded, and I don't envision paradise so crowded. So which islands did you visit? When we were there we went to Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. I didn't know Mark Twain went to Hawaii. Glad you enjoyed our fair country and things went well. :)

  4. Thank You Manny for your warm thoughts.

    To be honest, my wife is responsible for the Christmas present trip and we did take about seven hundred pictures while visiting Hilo, Maui, Lahaina and Honolulu in Hawaii and I'm sure that at lease one hundred of them should turn out.

    Long story short, there's so much to talk about and knowing myself, I don't want to get off on any tangent so I'll keep it short by saying If you want to know more, just send me an email. (LOL!?)

    As for Mark Twain, I've got it from good authority that he was invited and made a few recorded comments saying in so many words that with the building of good boats, it would not be too long before a LOT of people could eventually visit this wonderful Paradise Land. Please don't tell anyone Manny but it was not just jet lag that influenced "ME", "ME" and "ME" if YA get my drift? :)

    I'll close by saying that we really enjoyed our trip and your country as always been kind to us and the only thing that is on my mind right now is, will our good Canadian Prime Minister share with me some of those two four packs of beer that he won against your American President? (lol)

    God Bless

    1. Victor you should set up your own blog to fully say all you say. :)

      Hope your president enjoys our American beer. By world standards it's not so highly considered, so it seems our president pulled one over on yours...lol. That's ok. Our American president has pulled more than one over all of us here. Can we trade Presidents? :-D

      Hey I looked it up and Twain did visit Hawaii and write about it. It was in his travel book, Roughing It. I've never read it though.

  5. (((Victor you should set up your own blog to fully say all you say.)))

    Haha! You're so right Manny and if "The Holy Spirit" convinces the majority of my brain temple cells to do so, you'll be one of the first to know but in "The Mean Time", "I" will just pass on "IT".

    Hey when you and others like "The Anchoress" do all the work, why look for more trouble? (lol)

    God Bless Peace