Mark Twain (1835-1910) claimed he translated Extracts from Adam’s Diary from the original manuscript — from what he said were “Adam’s hieroglyphics.” Since in Twain’s view Adam was a “sufficiently important public character,” Twain felt justified in publishing the diary.
The work was begun in the early 1890’s in Florence, Italy. He published portions under various titles in 1893, 1897, 1901, and finally the complete Extracts from Adam’s Diary in 1904. The book is now in the public domain.
Some portions reflect Scriptural truth, while many others significantly deviate from Scripture. The overall picture is not an accurate representation of the true Adam and Eve, but the extracts are nevertheless rather humorous.
The diary begins with the following entry several days after Eve was created on Friday.
MONDAY — This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don’t like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals. . . . Cloudy today, wind in the east; think we shall have rain. . . . WE? Where did I get that word–the new creature uses it.
Not a propitious start to the Adam-Eve relationship! At least not according to Twain’s imagination.
However, Scripture’s record of the beginning of the Adam-Eve relationship is quite different.
Since there “was not found a helper suitable” for Adam among the animals, Yahweh created Eve from Adam’s rib for the purpose of filling this gap. Adam would have found Yahweh’s provision for him just perfect.
In fact, when Yahweh brought Eve to Adam, Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-23)
Clearly Adam was pleased and welcomed Eve. He was probably awestruck with her after having looked through so many animals for a companion. Aren’t you glad he didn’t settle for a stegosaurus as a companion?
Adam’s response could probably best be summed up with one word: Eureka!
The annoyance Twain imagines in Adam toward Eve was not there in the beginning. This diary entry is what one would expect to find after sin entered the world and introduced disharmony into human relationships. It was not there when Adam and Eve first met.
It is difficult from a post-sin world to accurately imagine what things were like prior to Adam’s sin. The only way to know is to ground one’s thinking on Scripture’s testimony in Genesis.
This is the first of a series of blog posts commenting on excerpts from Adam’s Diary by Mark Twain.
Read the sequel:
2. Adam’s Diary – Naming the Animals
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
Saturday March 20, 2010 A.D.
Read my March 2010 Bible-Science column
Woolly Bears and the Problem of Pain.
And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.
And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:20-22)