IN THE SPIRIT OF MARK TWAIN
Historical & Educational
by Bridget E. Smith
VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA--The Territorial Enterprise, the first newspaper to print Mark Twain's stories, exists still today. The TEF, a foundation born from the newspaper, seeks to promote and publicize the importance of history, particularly the Comstock region in Nevada which serves as a microcosm of a 'boom and bust' society. The persona of Mark Twain was born writing about the Comstock and it is a mission of the TEF to bring forward Twain's unique perspective and apply it to the communication mediums of the 21st Century.
One very fitting task for the TEF is that of assisting teachers with instructing their students to learn English through the words of Mark Twain. The way in which this can be accomplished is many and varied. The TEF proposes to provide [using video, audio, CDs and the web] educational and communication tools written using American English. [A prospectus on each medium is available.]
Currently the TEF maintains this web site which is a linking tool with a global reach. In many places throughout the developing world, teaching materials are dry and outdated. One goal of the TEF is to make available ~ through web site and printed journals ~ new material which will be fresh and interesting because of its Twainian perspective.
Story-telling on paper was Twain's gift, his art: American literature. His natural humor allowed him to see life with a perspective which is usually only gained after history is written. Twain took illogical human traits and aired them for all the world to examine. Twain made us laugh or made us mad. Today, people still seek to ban his "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." American society, as a whole, has grown more noble from his work.
Mark Twain's importance can not be mistaken because the legend of Mark Twain lives wherever English is spoken. His books are used to teach American literature in countries where English is a foreign language as well as in his native country. Twain's influence continues today, nearly 100 years after his death in 1910, because of his early day experiences at the Enterprise. One of the missions of the TEF to provide a fine literary experience for anyone speaking the English language.
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