Monday, February 28, 2011

Effects of Heartbreak

"I'm going to be a clown in a circus when I grow up." Said Tom to Becky on his "first date" with her at noon in the empty school house.

Few minutes later, they'd had a "lovers' tiff" already, and Tom, having "bunked" the remaining part of school that day, was hiding in the woods on Cardiff Hill, nursing his wounded heart.

He half envied Jimmy Hodges, who'd recently passed away, and had "nothing to bother and grieve about, ever any more." He wished he could die too - "temporarily"!

The idea of being a clown filled him with disgust now. "For frivolity and jokes and spotted tights were an offense, when they intruded themselves upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the romantic."

He wanted to be a soldier now, "war-worn and illustrious." Or better yet, an Indian chief, making war "in the mountain ranges and the trackless great plains of the Far West". Eventually he was struck with the idea of a "career path" even gaudier than this! He decided to be "Tom Sawyer the Pirate! -- the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main!"

. . . . .

Within minutes of being heartbroken, the colorful life of a circus clown had given way to the black threatening menace of a sea pirate!


Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Such were the effects of heartbreak back in 1876, when The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published. And so they remain even now, almost 135 years later.

Really weird... these "affairs of the heart"... aren't they!


P.S. - I just discovered that a special 135th Anniversary edition of the book has been published by the University of California Press, in August 2010, containing a selection of Twain's hard-to-find letters and notes expressing his always-engaging opinions on the publication of Tom Sawyer. Any connoisseurs among my Indian readers can buy this special edition at this link: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer: 135th Anniversary Edition.

Edit: The DVD of this classic is available at Amazon - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - 1938 [IMPORT, ALL REGIONS]


Here's more in Books.



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8 comments:

Roshmi Sinha said...

Ah! Tom Sawyer.... and his many adventures. Growing up with him was so much fun...

... I'm looking for the DVD actually...

Kaddu said...

Hey Roshmi,

Couldn't find the link for the DVD on flipkart, but it's there on Amazon. Here's the link for it...

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - 1938 [ IMPORT , ALL REGIONS ]

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Tom Sawyer, read it while in school, it was from here I learned the term 'playing hookey' (bunking). Its really a classic and depicts the teen love so majestically.

:)

Kaddu said...

B.A., I had that fence white-washing incident in one of my coursebooks in school. That was awesome use of human psychology! :D

Roshmi Sinha said...

Thank you :D

Kaddu said...

You're welcome yaar! :D

Shreesh said...

Tom Sawyer .. Read his adventures so many times when i was in 4th standard. As i was working on my karma manual .. i discovered how i was living some portions of that novel. AS the LOA acts on that subtle level.. these stories and fairy tales embedded in our psyche act as magnetic forces that attract some circumstances in our life thereby somehow contributing towards the fulfillment of our sacred contracts ... apart from the analytical gyan above which might not make head or tail for many readers here ..i just got to say i am in nostalgia . Ahh I love his adventures..

Kaddu said...

@ Shreesh: The analytical gyan made no sense to the author either. But the last part of your comment rang loud bells! :D

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