Everyone knows that Mark Twain is one of the United States most respected writers of the 20th century, but I’ve got to tell you. He had quite a few problems of his own.
Between 1890 and 1910 Twain had periodically worked on a piece entitled “The Mysterious Stranger” in which he attempts to discuss his views on social morality and the human race. In fact, Twain wrote multiple versions of this story, each with a different ending, but always with the same protagonist.. or antagonist. I think I’ll let you decide the literary foundations of this one.
The primary character of Twain’s piece is a character entitled Satan. Throughout the 3 most popular, Twain-written versions of the story, Satan’s lot in life and existence changes, but it is evident that Twain becomes more and more obsessed with the darkness of man as he progresses.
The first iteration of The Mysterious Stranger is referred to as The Chronicles of young Satan. In this story, Satan is apparently the literal nephew of the Biblical Satan. He is also ’sinless’. The story follows young Satan through his life in the middle ages when Twain simply abandons the piece.
The second piece works the character of Satan in to a piece referred to as Schoolhouse Hill in which the characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn actually accompany Satan on their crazy ‘adventures’. As I haven’t read the pieces myself, no note on what these ‘adventures’ actually consist of.
Twain appears to be progressively attempting to have The Mysterious Stranger be an outlet for his increasing battle with the concepts of morality and humanity. The third and final version of The Mysterious Stranger chronicles Satan appearing in the door of a printshop, explaining to patrons the futility of mans existence. How we got to The Futility of Mans existence from an adventure with Huck and Tom, I’m not really sure.
The wikipedia illustrates the feeling of the final installment quite well, and since I’m not a literary scholar, I’ll simply quote it:
[Satan makes an] appearance at the door of a print shop and his use of heavenly powers to expose the futility of mankind’s existence. This version also introduces an idea Twain was toying with at the end of his life involving a duality of the “self”, one being the “Waking Self” and the other being the “Dream Self”. Twain explores these ideas through the use of “Duplicates”, copies of the print shop workers made by No. 44. This version contains an actual ending, however the version is not considered as complete as Twain would have intended.
So why did I bother researching this and sharing it with you? It’s really quite simple. Through a wonderful day of browsing the web, I found the creepiest of creepy you tube videos. I’m talking, weird youtube video #1. Weirdest youtube video? I think you’re getting the idea. It’s by far the most bizzare thing I’ve seen on youtube as of yet.
And because I enjoyed fear the video so much, I figured I’d share it here. You can see for yourself why I took the time to read a little bit about the story. As a word of caution, I wouldn’t watch this weird video with my children within earshot.
Alright, so I thought I was done. I was going to end the post there, but I wanted to briefly say that concepts such as this frighten me more than anything. I can’t explain to you how much I hate ideas and concepts where reality simply makes no sense. Think I’m kidding?
What movie, from your childhood, scares you the most? For me, movies like Labyrinth and The never ending story scare me more than anything because reality is so incredibly distorted and bizzare. Another scary, but not quite terrifying movie in my mind would be The princess bride. Sure, they don’t actually ‘scare’ me so much as they do just kind-of bother, or disturb me. But back in my childhood days, they were incredibly frightening. And to this day, I’d much rather see something else.