come parla la gente – Mark Twain

A remarkable influence on literature came also from the southern states of north America, where Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, reproduced the different ways of speaking, accents and regional dialects in the dialogues of his characters. In this way he could depicts the many sides of life and of human nature. He published from 1865 until 1910, but his literary fame is firmly rooted (radicata) in the 19th century with its problems of racism, class conflicts, and poverty, a situation that he experienced as he  worked  on the steam boat (battello a vapore) of the Mississippi river. His pen name derives from “mark twain,” the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms (misura marittima). Twain’s  great capacity to understand human nature is also due to (dovuta a ) his interest and studies in parapsychology; he was an early (primo) member of the Society for Psychical Research. Probably this interest was born after a tragic experience: while training (mentre faceva apprendistato) to become a pilot of a steam boat, Samuel convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, but the boat  Henry  worked on exploded and  he  died in 1858 –  Twain had foreseen this death in a dream a month earlier. The sense of guilt pursued (senso di colpa lo perseguitò) Twain for the rest of his life. He continued to work on the river and was a river pilot until the American Civil War broke out (scoppiò) in 1861 and traffic along the Mississippi was curtailed (venne ridotto).