Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Diaries of Adam & Eve


The Diaries of Adam & Eve Translated by Mark Twain. Illustrated by Michael Mojher.

This compilation combines several writings by Mark Twain. It weaves together the texts of both Adam and Eve's diaries. You can see snippets of both here and here. (Adam first, then Eve.)

One of the reviews I read notes that, "The Diaries of Adam and Eve contains a good sample of Twain's wry humor and his observations on the human condition. He portrays Adam as a man who would as soon sit around and do nothing, but whose curiosity eventually gets the better of him once it is sparked by Eve. Eve is seen as a curious woman who wants to understand everything around her and has the need to share it with any person who will listen, limited, at first, to Adam, who is passably indifferent to Eve and her passions." Another calls it a "spoof" of the creation story in Genesis. While it's true that it is slightly irreverent, I see it as capturing the bewilderment and awe of life as it might have been. It's not like there was an instruction manual. And their confusion, curiosity, and naive wonder at things we take for granted make for an enjoyable, funny, lighthearted read. At its simplest it is a funny look at how humans learned to be human. One of the more humorous section is on how they became parents. Eve seems to "get" the baby thing more than Adam ever does. Anyway, I don't want to give too much away. But it is a short, simple, sweet book that I'd consider a must-read at some point in your life. I agree with the Amazon reviewer who wrote, "If there is a shorter, funnier, more delightful book on the planet, I have yet to find it. The genius that was Twain's is in abundant evidence here."

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