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On Masturbation

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  14 reviews
America's Master Humorist on Masturbation... One evening in Paris in 1879, Mark Twain rose to the podium and tackled the touchiest of subjects. His hilarious remarks rubbed Victorian society the wrong way and were censored for many decades. At long last, here is Mark Twain's complete treatise on 'The Science of Onanism,' along with many uplifting illustrations.
Paperback, 36 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by BookSurge Publishing
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Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
I'm somehow confused about this being a 36 page book (perhaps there are illustrations?!), because it's actually a speech Twain gave. If you dig a bit on the internet, you can find it - but it's short enough for me to copy below. It isn't what I'd consider the best of Twain's humor - but it's a glimpse into the world of men's after dinner speeches of the 1800s, and what was considered risque talk.

Found online here and also here (a few interesting notes on that last link, on things like the Vendom
Neha Oberoi
This isn't a book. Its a speech!. Mostly its a play of words that mark twain has used to put forth his views on the self indulgent act. Its amusing.

I liked the way he's compared it to flatulence and the losing of potential children. Also, the affront of one of the authors and naming the male organ is quite entertaining. Seems men will always be men and naming their genitals continues in an attempt to bely the correct importance ( that is their due according to them ) to them. ;)
AmberBug **
Twain wrote this in response to the public opinion on masturbation. Super short, really this was a speech so it makes for a quick read. I believe I purchased this (cheap or for free) on amazon. He is so clever and funny, greatly increased his already charming self. I really wish I could have sat and chatted with him (invent that time machine already!)
Kim Buchanan
(Shaking my head) I LOVED IT
Hate to call this a book, but hey, they made one out of the (probably should have stayed) lost story a few years back, so why not. This is Twain at his over-the-top best. Bawdy, of course, ala 1601, but so frickin' funny that the term LOL is entirely true. Twain sets out to skewer just about everyone in this, from "quoting" Franklin and Queen Elizabeth on its merits to playing on the prevention of childbirth. It can be found on the web, I highly recommend you read it. Just absolutely full of win ...more
Reading this book one must remember the context not just of the event but the time. Many today do not realize how abhorrent the practice of masturbation was considered: It was common medical belief that a male who masturbates could go mad or much worse. Mark Twain's purposely erroneous quotations from famous historical and then present day figures are clever and very entertaining.
J.V. Stanley
Twain is a masterful satirist! Although the subject isn't as taboo in modern times as it was then, it certainly puts perspective on how the topic was perceived. The quotes are hilarious and are worth the dollar spent. It's a pretty quick read of the speech he made that will make you chuckle.
Jul 26, 2008 Meen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Oh you all should just to smile! (And stop touching that!)
Recommended to Meen by: Goodreads via a search for his autobiography
Well, now I've read it, so I guess it can go on the sexy shelf... once I figure out what a Vendome Column is...

I would've liked to've known Sam Clemens. How cool is this?!
Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked that, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." Fantastic Twain. What a sense of humor that man had.
Would have been super funny at the time, I bet. I love that he called farting the "fundamental sigh."
Simon Sweetman
Nothing too gripping here - but interesting to see what might have caused a stir way back.
Cute quotes, but not as funny or rooted in Twain as I had hoped.
Mohit Parikh
Vendome Column... lol. IIT-R has one.
I laughed out loud.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work
More about Mark Twain...
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Prince and the Pauper A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories— and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures.” 14 likes
“Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy." Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy." Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction--have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise.” 6 likes
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