Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven () by Mark Twain · Chapter I→. Sister Projects. sister projects: Wikidata item. Published in. Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven has ratings and 62 reviews. Liz said: What an interesting and entertaining short story! I haven’t r. Extracts From Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven is the first-person account of a sea captain’s trip to heaven after his death. The story opens with Stormfield.

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Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain

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Return to Book Page. Twain’s witty vision of what heaven “is really like” is told from the point of view of the recently deceased Captain Stormfield. In a fo narration haeven with sailor’s jargon, the amiable, altogether down-to-earth merchant marine describes a series of amusingly disconcerting revelations about the next world.

Sitting on a cloud strumming a harp all day turns out to be Twain’s witty vision of what heaven “is really like” is told from the point of view of the recently deceased Captain Stormfield. Sitting on a cloud strumming a harp all day turns out to be insufferably boring; being eternally youthful also has its drawbacks when the captain finds himself not mixing well with a crowd of insipid teenagers; and Native Americans so outnumber whites in the North American district of Paradise that the average white Anglo-Saxon male has trouble finding someone to talk to.

In fact the outlandish dimensions and characteristics of heaven utterly explode every human conception. This funny, satirical spoof on human pretensions about the importance of our species in the grand scheme of things was the last published work by Mark Twain.

The main character and plot were inspired by the dream of an actual sea captain whom Twain had known.

Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven – Wikisource, the free online library

Published at the beginning of the 20th century, when astronomy had just begun to reveal the huge expanse of outer space and traditional religious concepts of our place in the universe had become inadequate, Twain’s humorous vision of the afterlife seems to reflect the new scientific awareness of the awesome cosmos that confronts us and the feelings of insignificance that this discovery produced.

Two years after publication of this “extract,” originally planned as a six-chapter book, Twain himself shipped off to follow in Captain Stormfield’s wake. Paperbackpages. Published November 1st by Prometheus Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heavenplease sign up. Lists with This Book. What an interesting and entertaining short story! I haven’t read any Mark Twain in years, and I have a feeling I’ve really been missing out. Mark Twain takes our ideas about heaven and turns them upside down I think his point is that we concentrate on our heavenly reward based on our vision of heaven – right or wrong.

Twain uses his character, Capt. Stormfield, to skewer the traditional Christian iconography around heaven. In Twain’s heaven carrying a palm leaf gets tiresome, so people tend to hand theirs off to the newly arrived, singing in the heavenly chorus lasts maybe a couple of hours before it loses its charm, and other surprises await poor Stormfield.

This is my favorite work of Mar Twain’s. I cried page after page and it made me feel really good about my faith and my convictions.


Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit To Heaven (version 2)

Aug 04, Karla rated it really liked it Shelves: Second half is funnier vizit the first, but the whole thing is worth a read.

Twain’s satire of puny mortals’ image of Heaven contrasted with how it really is was hilarious. Highlights were the failed attempt to use the angel wings for flying they’re more for decorative purposesthe mistaken belief that everyone’s equal up there hah, as if!

This was referenced in This Rep Second half is funnier than the first, but the whole thing is worth a read. This was referenced in This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil Warthat Twain wrote it stormfiield the Civil War when Heaven became a sort of comforting Victorian parlor, and cloying sentimentality drove that evolution.

But it wasn’t published until or so, at the end of Twain’s life. This is one of the many books that got Mark Twain branded a sgormfield. But he was no heretic! This again is great humor.

Twain points out what our heart already knows to be true: I love this story! I remember reading Vonnegut somewhere he mentioned a tailor from Tennessee named Billings who became a superior prophet to Shakespeare and Homer in the heaven after he died of hunger.

He was able to write poems viwit powerful but his neighbors were too dumb to visitt it. He never published anything in his entire life but the innate ability of his had got the reward it deserved, at least, from the author’s sanctimonious take on our tales of the heaven and related ideas. People from other worlds, the relativeness of heavenly routines and more secluded, misunderstood people like Billings are packed into this short satirical tale.

I wonder if they were really people like Billings used to live here. As Vonnegut used to say, he’s up in heaven now. Pity them or pity us? Apr 13, Illiterate rated it really liked it.

Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain

Short successful sacrilegious satire. This one looks to be a fanciful tale Mind you, had been whizzing through space all that time, hexven a comet. Why, Peters, I laid over the lot of them! Of course there warn’t any of them going my way, as a steady thing, you know, because they travel in a long circle like the loop of a lasso, whereas I was pointed as a dart for the He Another ot Twain.

Of course there warn’t any of them going my way, as a steady thing, you know, because they travel in a long circle like the loop of a lasso, whereas I was pointed as a dart for the Hereafter; but I happened on one every now and then that was going my way for an hour or so, and then we had a bit of a brush together.

So, he gets to the bright lights only his course had strayed a bit and so he’s entering by way of another door or gate.

An entertaining take on heaven through Twain’s eyes, short and sweet, no surprises other than one early on, one of those passing through the customs, some Star Wars-like creature But then the good Captain is redirected toward the Wart’s earth is known as Wart in heaven gate.

The story is initially told through the eyes of Captain Eli Stormfield, addressing someone by the name of Peters The greatest military genius our world Wart ever produced was a brick-layer from somewhere back of Boston–died during the Revolution–by the name of Absalom Jones.

Shakespeare and the rest have to walk behind a common tailor from Tennessee, by the name of Billings This is from Twain, so it is a hoot. And since all are present, how’d it be possible for someone to be knocked off their feed? I always imagined Mark Twain as an eccentric older gentleman, sitting in a rocking chair in Connecticut, smoking pipes, talking about steamboats, and taking weird selfies because his autobiography is full of them.


That’s all true, of course, but the WTF-truth is that he was also contemplating death, the afterlife, and how it’s all bullshit. And he wrote about it occasionally for forty years. Let’s all say it together: But, the results are amazing. Twain envisions a deceased steamboat Captain Stormfield riding a motorized comet to Heaven. Only he overshoots, and lands in the wrong Heaven. In Alien Heaven, humans are now the aliens, and treated as real weirdos who ask for things like halos and wings.

The “aliens” non-earthlings don’t even know where Earth is, and have to look it up in an intergalactic atlas. And he has all sorts of questions for some old-people friends he makes in Heaven. The book is a riot. Twain is always so flippant with the Holy Ghost, and it’s great to see it shining through, and unexpectedly in a Science-Fiction-y sort of way. I admire his bravery, his candor, and above all, his humor. Buy this title from Powell’s Books. Everything is relative, even heaven.

Twain has a marvelous time letting us know that not only are we, as individuals, going to be small fry in heaven, but our whole universe is a speck on heaven’s map. He points out that one cannot have happiness without sorrow again one exists only relative to the other and that what we have been told about heaven is not well thought out. Just look at how one would select how old one might wish to appear there. Thought provoking as usual, Twain brings up many Everything is relative, even heaven.

Thought provoking stormfielc usual, Twain brings up many issues. I think my favorite is that of Edward J. Billings and his inability to get published on Earth while in heaven Shakespeare and Homer wait on stormfielf like servants. Twain has a way of skewing one’s perspective that is delightful.

Apr 04, Alex Sarll added it. The early 20th century’s dawning realisation of mankind’s insignificance in the great scheme of things would inspire HP Lovecraft’s cosmic horror, but in Twain’s hands it instead becomes a comedy of manners. So one puny Earthling reaches the afterlife only to learn that nobody considers our planet of much account, and that even within the human ghetto of Heaven the once-mighty and the white are rather less esteemed than he’d anticipated.

And as for the heavenly choir, and the wings It’s a curious mix of metaphysical explanations for why you’re better off sticking with what you know, and reminders of how limited human perspectives can be.

But for all that, and being incomplete, it’s still a lot better, a lot more alive t questioning, than many great writers’ final works. My grandmother introduced me to Twain. She didn’t do it directly by shoving his books at me, but indirectly, simply by fisit them around her cottage in Michigan. They came, but only later, in high school. What she had on offer were his later, darker works. It’s been quite a while since I read Stormfield, but I heaveen remember the satisfaction Twain’s ridiculing of Christian notions of heaven and the afterlife gave me.

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