Extracts from Adam's Diary
First edition book cover
|Publisher||Harper & Brothers|
|Preceded by||A Dog's Tale|
|Followed by||King Leopold's Soliloquy|
"Extracts from Adam's Diary" is a 1904 comic short story by American humorist and writer Mark Twain.
Adam (based on Twain himself) describes how Eve (modeled after his wife Livy) gets introduced into the Garden of Eden, and how he has to deal with "this new creature with the long hair" The piece gives a humorous account of Genesis. It begins with the introduction of Eve, described as an annoying creature with a penchant for naming things, which Adam could do without. It moves on to detail Eve eating the apple and finding Cain, a perplexing creature which Adam can not figure out. He devotes his ironically scientific mind to demystifying Cain's species, thinking it a fish, then a kangaroo, then a bear. Eventually he figures out it is a human, like himself.
The work is humorous and ironic, and gives a new spin on Genesis: few people have considered what life must have been like for Adam, who is discovering everything anew; the work does not consider God's role at all; and eventually, despite his initial deep annoyance with Eve, Adam finds himself in love with her.