Posted by: ccclib | March 28, 2011

“The laugh is too expensive.”

Ambrose Bierce and Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) were friends, so when Bierce’s publisher asked Twain for a review of Bierce’s book Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California by Dod Grille they probably expected better than the following:

There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

Twain’s review is itself a good sample of his classic style and humor.  Without stating it outright, he demonstrates that his own laughs are quite economical.

Letters of Note has posted an image of the original letter as well as a transcript of the handwritten text.

The vilest book that exists in print


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