The best Washington story

Deacon’s link below to Jonathan Yardley’s piece on Reveille in Washington got me to thinking about the genre of Washington literature. Yardley persuades me that I have to read Reveille, but he calls Henry Adams’s novel Democracy unreadable, which it isn’t. It’s not only readable, it’s funny. It is also indisputably minor.
The best Washington story, though, also deserves a mention. It’s Mark Twain’s “The Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation,” a hilarious account of his brief career as clerk to the Senate Committee on Conchology. Its greatness resides in its ability to inspire laughter. Twain’s story also captures something timeless about life in the capital. Inspirational quote: “Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.”


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