picture courtesy of "Mark Twain in His Times"

Mark Twain at Home

"If you attempt to create and build a wholly imaginary incident, adventure, or situation, you will go astray, & the artificiality of the thing will be
detectable. But if you found it on a fact in your personal experience, it is an acorn, a root, & every created adornment that grows up out of it &
spreads its foliage & blossoms to the sun will seem realities, not inventions. You will not be likely to go astray; your compass of fact is there to
keep you on the right course." Samuel Clemens,  November 1887 journal entry, as quoted in Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, Vol. III



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