Twain's Trinity

Mark Twain loved the Mississippi River, and I does too, being that Aunty Belle was born in Mississippi. So natcherly, I done read plenty of Twain (and Uncle Remus!!) as a kid, and thinkin' I knowed the stories pretty good I didn't revisit em' until the time came for Ole Aunty B to read to a new crop of young'uns.

Heh heh..the delight one finds in reading what yer thought ya' knew--to see wif older eyes what Twain was really aimin' at.

Now Twain was agnostic mostly--reverving somethin' on that for the end of the post--but he had an idea on trinity that I likes a lot:

The man you think you are
The man others think you are
The man you really are.

How often do those three line up?

Well, mostly not too much, huh? So we get an idea of an "integrated" personality, one that's more lined up than not--a mature person is one whose self perception is closest to the actual reality.

So this is in mah mind as I read some murder mysteries of the English genre (Nine Tailors) , and now, mah newest kick, spy novels by Alan Furst, from WW ll era set mostly in Eastern Europe and writtten to evoke that spare foggy dusk that is a metaphor for the mind of man in the time before wars....a good spy novelist and a good murder mystery "solves" more than the mystery of the whodunit or the whoisit.

They need to integrate the personality of the murderer so that what he thinks of hisself, what others saw of him, and what he really is all come together to reveal the true man...and spy novels the same--iffin' they ain't some trinitarian integration of why and what the spy is about all the tech toys and action scenes is about as excitin' as wet cardboard. We'uns always want a look at the heart of man. Good fiction uses imagination to uncover a reality about man in his world.

Now there was a Pope that lived only 33 days, John Paul I.... an Italian of sweet countenance who used to be a professor ---he loved Mark Twain. When he taught his students about Twain, he quoted Twain's trinitarian formula....and then as a good theologian, JP the First noted that it was the third person of the Twain trinity that was baptized in the Mississippi.

Oh, and...for all his agnosticism, Twain said his best work ever was his biography of St. Joan d'Arc.
...and indeed it is.


sparringK9 said...

/bark bark bark

great post. that glimpse of the three together is so rare and fragile -it slips away like a shadow you saw out of the corner of your eye, but when you tried to look at it straight on, you couldnt see it. but you had an idea of the possibility.

twain was courageous and tricky. i have never read the joan of arc story but I can imagine how it is treated by the great man - and written under his own name??


Bird said...

perhaps twain was able to do a fine job on the biography of joan because he was an agnostic...

hmmm... i can easily see the trinity discussion morphing into a back porch discussion - i.e., when we debate, we see ourselves and our point of view and expression one way, often others see it another, and then somewhere in all of that is the reality.

of course, reality is socially-constructed; it's not a given and the truth of it is always debatable - interpretable.

Aunty Belle said...

Hey Dawg--left ya a message bout that funeral--real sorry for yer loss.

Yep, Twain wrote Joan under name of Twain (not Samuel Clemmons). A good read, like everything he wrote.

Hey Bird,flying jewel of the air. Uh huh...I does like the fact that Twain came at Joan wifout pre-conceived notions. He did years of research in the oriiginal documents--seein' how's it was a court case they's still volumes of records--a good read.

But youse confusin' me wif that idea that reality is socially constructed
--I am one of those who thought reality WAS the given thang. What'cha mean? Does you mean an alternate *interpretation* of reality is only asocial construction?

Isn't reality what is *given* thus not in same category as supposition or opinion? (That water is wet, not dry is a statement of reality, right?)

velvet acid tongue said...

i agree with K9 ... a glimpse of these three together is indeed so rare ... as for reality - it is. not constructed ... just is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Aunty Belle,

Sorry, this comment is on an unrelated subject. If just started a new group blog. Its about living with our religion as Christians. I hope you come visit.
Live Love and Ponder