Arts and Culture
More from Google
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
These are some of Mark Twain's best short stories, adapted and told by Steve Daut. Episodes include historical notes and comments from Steve's book, Telling Twain, available through www.stevedaut.com
1 day ago
Editing an Agricultural Paper
This story was first published in Galaxy Magazine and the Buffalo Express. Although it is certainly fiction, it is also very likely that it is based on arguments that he had with his partners at the Buffalo Express about increasing circulation versus staying strictly with journalistic accuracy.
Sep 5, 2020
In this story, first published in 1870, Twain talks about his travails with getting a watch fixed that didn't need fixing. I have told this in front of various audiences and quickly discovered that I needed to explain what it was like to have a pocket watch in an era when there was no place to find the exact time, and no telephones to even call to find out the time. So I provide that explanation right up front, trying to integrate it as seamlessly as possible into the story.
Aug 28, 2020
The Killing of Julius Caesar
The Killing of Julius Caesar was first published in a compilation of stories, and is Twain's little exercise in imagining what it would be like to be a reporter in ancient Rome, writing about Caesar's murder. Not wholly successful, so I have tried to modify it to make it less complicated (and hopefully more interesting) at the expense of some of the historical accuracy of the account.
Aug 19, 2020
Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven
Twain claimed that the original version of this story was his satiric counterpoint to The Gates Ajar, by Elizabeth Stuart Ward. It pokes fun at the absurd contradictions we carry about the nature of what Heaven is like. This adaptation is based on the revised version that was published in 1909.
Aug 10, 2020
One Little Tale
This story is my adaptation of Twain's story entitled Two Little Tales. The original is a story within a story, but it seems to me that the "outer" story that wraps around the other one actually distracts from the message of the inner story, so I got rid of it, leaving me with One Little Tale. I also added a fairy tale ending, because I felt that's what it needed, even at the risk of being pilloried by Twain purists.
Aug 2, 2020
Running for Governor
This story is pure Twain, full of sardonic humor and dry wit. It is a telling statement of the nature of political campaigns, and manages to be a refreshing reminder that the squabbling we experience today have long been a part of politics in America.
Jul 26, 2020
Five Boons of Life
This is a minor adaptation of a dark and pessimistic story by Twain. It was written during a time when his wife, Libby, was dying and he was beginning to think about writing his autobiography. The story almost seems like a short autobiography itself, at a dark and hopeless time in Twain's life.
Jul 16, 2020
Some Learned Fables For Good Old Boys and Girls
This is one of the more complex episodes in the series. Twain's original was written in multiple parts, and the connection between them is not always consistent, so it took a fair amount of adaptation. On the others hand, it was great fun to put it all together with voices and sound effects!
Jul 3, 2020
In trying to write an essay on political economy, Twain is interrupted repeatedly by a lightning rod salesman. In trying to dispatch the interruption quickly without looking foolish, Twain just makes things worse . . . . and worse . . . . and worse . . . .
Jun 23, 2020
A Ghost Story
A Ghost Story was first published in an 1875 volume entitled Sketches New and Old. The inspiration for the story has been called "The greatest hoax every perpetuated on the American people". This episode contains both Twain's story and the true story that inspired it.
Jun 16, 2020
Arguing With a Raven
An excerpt from A Tramp Abroad that was published to promote that book in the Cincinnati Daily Star
Jun 7, 2020
The Facts in the Great Landslide Case
An 1860's courtroom drama. Absurd as it sounds, it may have actually happened!
May 26, 2020
May 15, 2020
The Thirty Thousand Dollar Bequest
The Fosters have come into an unexpected bequest from a relative they didn't know existed. Is it a blessing or a curse? This is a modern, condensed adaptation of Twain's story, originally published in 1904. Adapted and narrated by Steve Daut.
May 11, 2020
The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm
Twain's struggle with cutting edge technology, circa 1880.
May 10, 2020
The Wild Man Interviewed
One of Twain's darkest stories, with some disturbing recent events included to underscore the power of the story. The original version of this story was published in the September 18, 1869 issue of the Buffalo Express.
May 9, 2020
Journalism in Tennessee
Steve Daut's adaptation of a Mark Twain slapstick story about Fake News and the battles of journalism. For you sensitive souls out there, some violence is depicted in this episode.
May 5, 2020
Curing a Cold
Mark Twain's unique approach to curing a cold, first published in the May 42, 1867 edition of the Marshall County Republican
May 4, 2020
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
This is an adaptation of Mark Twain's first and best known short story, about a man with a very special frog.