of "Mark Twain in His Times"
Twain at Home
you attempt to create and build a wholly imaginary incident, adventure,
or situation, you will go astray, & the artificiality of the thing
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.
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