Thursday, March 15, 2007

mark twain's thoughts on australia

geoff and i are both enjoying reading the travels of m. twain, "the wayward tourist."  it offers an historical perspective of the country (1890s), an american view on things, and some humor that is typical of twain.  i thought i'd share a few bits.  this first quote begins to capture what i cannot describe about this place - 

"To my mind the exterior aspects and character of Australia are fascinating things to look at and think about, they are so strange, so weird, so new, so uncommonplace, such a startling and interesting contrast to the other sections of the planet, the sections that are known to us all, familiar to us all."

more specifically about melbourne, twain writes -

"Melbourne spreads around over an immense area of ground.  It is a stately city architecturally as well as in magnitude.  It has an elaborate system of cable-car service; it has museums, and colleges, and schools, and public gardens, and electricity, and gas, and libraries, and theaters, and mining centers, and wool centers, and centers of the arts and sciences, and boards of trade, and ships, and railroads, and a harbor, and social clubs, and journalistic clubs, and racing clubs, and a squatter club sumptuously housed and appointed, and as many churches and banks as can make a living.  In a word, it is equipped with everything that goes to make the modern great city.  It is the largest of Australasia, and fills the post with honor and credit."

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