Following the Equator

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Autobiographical narrative by Clemens, published in 1897 under his pseudonym Mark Twain. Describing the Australian section of his lecture tour around the world (1895), he works up, in a rather pedestrian way, second-hand materials concerning the aborigines, early settlers, and local animals. Although there are witty interludes, vivid accounts such as the one of the Sepoy Mutiny, and satirical disquisitions on the Boer War and imperialistic morality, the book has little of the inspiration that distinguishes Clemens's other travel accounts. In India, he is oppressed by the overpopulation, superstition, plagues, famines, and disasters, and by the disillusioned society resigned to the constant repetition of barren and meaningless processes, which foreshadows the pessimism of the books he wrote in 1898.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Mark Twain (1835—1910) American novelist and humorist