Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two Languages, One Mark Twain House

As short-term Rotary teenage exchange students, Laura Espinoza Jara of Quito, Ecuador and Mary Majerus-Collins of Connecticut, U.S.A., spent time in each other's countries, living with each other's families. While in Connecticut, they visited The Mark Twain House & Museum, pictured above. Laura wrote about her impressions of the author's historic home in Spanish and Mary translated Laura's words to English. Both versions appear below.

Por Laura Espinoza Jara
Periodista Del Nivel Uno
HARTFORD, Connecticut, E.U. – Al entrar por la puerta principal de la casa, un ambiente de lujo y confort da la bienvenida al visitante a la primera sala de la casa que sostiene un tema del norte de Àfrica es facil apreciar gracias a las paredes pintadas a mano dedicadamente y a los varios objetos de colección de la familia.
Luego más adelante, está el cuarto de bienvenida, donde las hijas solían practicar ballet frente al enorme espejo que se encuentra en la sala. Se podía apreciar una larga colección de conchas que, en ese tiempo, representaban belleza y al tenerlas en un hogar, eran muestra de armonía. Esta sala tenía un tema de la India, que al igual que el otro se podría apreciar gracias a las paredes pintadas a mano.
El comedor tiene un tema asiático, aunque no esté bien representado. Gracias a los platos y la manera en que la comida estaba servida se puede apreciar cómo era la hora de la comida.
Despues de pasar por todos las alas en el piso inferior, que son especialmente para los invitados y claramente muestran la calidad de vida que la familia decía tener, se sube al segundo piso; donde los cuartos no eran tan detallados, y era un poco menos público; era más familiar y personal. La manera en que se marca la diferencia de detalles que fueron puestos entre las salas para el público y las salas familiares nos da una vaga idea de las prioridades de la familia.
El cuarto personal del escritor, que era exclusivo para que este pudiera realizar sus obras, tenía una puerta que llevaba al tercer cuarto de huéspedes en el que solamente se quedaban a dormir los amigos más íntimos de la familia.
Ademas estaba repleto de objetos que hacían obvio lo importante que la amistad era para el escritor, con su mesa de billar y sillas para aquellas tardes noches con amigos.
La sala iba acompañada por un regalo de el arquitecto que construyó la casa, dos ventanas de marmol en las que estaban encargados objetos que representaban la imagen de el escritor. Aunque Mark Twain no escribió la mayor parte de sus obras en este lugar, escribió algunas de las más importantes.
Cosas que parecen asombrar a las personas sobre la casa, es que tan repleta esta de objetos europeos o asiaticos, ya que el escritor escribía mayormente sobre norte América, aunque haya sido un turista recurrente.
Antes de ir a la casa de Mark Twain, no conocía nada acerca de la vida de este escritor, como era el ni cómo era su familia. Y después de visitar y recorrer un tour por su casa y escuchar las costumbres y observar que tipos de objetos tenía y como estaban distribuidas las cosas, se puede claramente deducir o por lo menos darles una imagen clara de que tipo de vida llevaba este famoso escritor, quien pretendía ser y todo lo que era importante para el. Yo creo que, después de analizar su estilo de vida antes y después de su fama, es importante para poder apreciar correctamente las obras del autor.
Yo recomiendo a cualquier persona que sienta cualquier tipo de interés en la literatura o en el autor y su vida privada o sus obras, o a cualquier persona que simplemente quiera expandir sus conocimientos o que estén interesados en arquitectura, que visiten esta casa llena de historia y cultura que se dio en una época completamente diferente en la que estamos ahora.
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By Laura Espinoza Jara
Translated from Spanish to English
by Mary Majerus-Collins
Reporters
HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – Upon entering the main door of the house, an environment of luxury and comfort welcomes the visitor to the front hall of the Mark Twain House. The hall sustains a theme of northern Africa and it is easy to appreciate the dedication in the hand painted walls and the various objects belonging to the family.
Next, farther in the house, is the drawing room where Twain’s daughters practiced ballet in front of an enormous mirror that’s found in the room.
Visitors to the house can view a large collection of shells which, in that time, represented beauty. Having them in the home showed an appreciation for harmony.
This room has an Indian theme, which, similar to the other room, is apparent in the hand-painted designs on the walls.
The dining room has an oriental theme, though it is not well represented. It is possible to appreciate the way the way the atmosphere of the room would have felt during dinner, thanks to the plates filled with artificial food on the table.
After passing through all the rooms on the bottom floor, which show the quality of life that the family was said to have and are specifically for guests, visitors proceed to the second floor where the rooms are less ornate and public, and more familiar and personal.
Mary Majerus-Collins, left, and Laura
Espinoza Jara, right, in the Travel is

Fatal to Prejudice exhibit at The
Mark Twain House & Museum.
The differences between the public and private rooms gives a vague idea of the family’s priorities.
The private office of the writer, which was exclusively for him to fashion his works, has a door that leads into the third guest bedroom where only the closest friends of the family would sleep.
That third floor study is full of objects which make obvious the importance of friendship to the writer, with his pool table and chairs for late nights with friends.
In the room was a gift of two carved marble windows given to the family from the architect.
Although Mark Twain didn’t write the majority of his works in the room, he wrote some of his most important there.
Things that seem the most surprising about the house are how packed it is with objects from Europe and Asia even though the author, though a frequent tourist, wrote mostly about North America.
Before going to the Mark Twain House, I didn’t know anything about the life of this author or his family.
And after visiting and touring his house and learning about his habits and seeing the type of objects that he had and how they were arranged in the house, I could clearly see or at least form a clear image of the type of life lead by this famous author – who he professed to be and all that was important to him.
I believe that learning about Mark Twain’s style of life before and after his fame is important to being able to properly appreciate the works of this author.
I recommend any person with any sort of interest in literature, Twain or his works and private life, or any person who simply wants to expand their knowledge or is interested in architecture visit this house. It’s filled with the history and culture that took place in a completely different time, with different minds than the ones now.

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