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November 2010 Archives

November's LearningLife Forum features Chris Osgood. Known as the "godfather of the Minneapolis music scene," Osgood formed the seminal punk rock band The Suicide Commandos in 1974 and has been rocking ever since. He'll be talking with MinnPost's Jim Walsh, former City Pages music editor and award-winning columnist for the Pioneer Press.

Read more about Osgood in a recent LearningLife article profiling two of our music-related November speakers: Osgood and 18th- and 19th- century music specialist Daniel Freeman (Western Music 101).

Politics junkie?

Can't get your fill of politics? Check out this month's Headliners: Election 2010: Reading the Tea Leaves. On Nov. 4, join political science Professor Kathryn Pearson on November 4 as she recaps the 2010 elections, reflects on their significance, and examines the "political tea leaves" to see what the results portend for Minnesota--and for the U.S.

Also coming up is American Politics 101. Spend the day with University political science experts Paul Goren, Timothy Johnson, and Kathryn Pearson and gain an understanding of the American political system: from campaigns and elections to public participation in politics to the workings of the Supreme Court.

Register for the event

mark_twain(2).jpg". . .I hit upon the right way to do an Autobiography: start it at no particular time of your life; wander at your free will all over your life; talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale, and talk about the new and more interesting thing that has intruded itself into your mind meantime."

Between 1870 and 1905, American author Mark Twain accumulated over 30 partial manuscripts of his autobiography. He struggled with the format of the story, noting that a straight chronological progression would leave out "the side-excursions [that] are the life of our life-voyage, and should be, also, of its history."

Plus, he felt that autobiographies were not completely truthful. As he wrote in 1905, "We suppress an unpopular opinion because we cannot afford the bitter cost of putting it forth... None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned."

To that end, he insisted the book be published in its entirety only posthumously--100 years after his death. He explains: "A book that is not to be published for a century gives the writer a freedom which he could secure in no other way. In these conditions, you can draw a man without prejudice exactly as you knew him and yet have no fear of hurting his feelings or those of his grandsons."

Says Edward Griffin, American literature scholar, U of M English professor emeritus, and speaker at LearningLife's upcoming Mark Twain Immersion, "It was something of an experiment for him--to see if he could write his own life story and tell the unguarded, unvarnished, unprotected truth. He wrestled with the method for years. He knew he wanted to avoid a chronological rehash, and that he preferred free association."