Sam Oshana, a native of Boston, discovered solace in the profound words of philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau. The philosophical insights of Thoreau and his influence on notable figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi enriched Sam’s life significantly. Guided by Thoreau’s perspectives on civil disobedience, Sam embraced the call to action in the face of glaring injustices while respecting the overall structure of the law. Even in the modern era, Sam recognizes the enduring relevance of Thoreau’s reflections on liberty.
During Sam’s journey into adulthood, a renewed appreciation for the poetic verses of Walt Whitman emerged. Whitman’s powerful quote from Leaves of Grass, “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won,” served as a guiding light during challenging times. Whitman’s passion for individuality, nature, divinity, and liberty deeply inspired Sam, illuminating his personal and intellectual journey. The unexpected publication of Life and Adventures of Jack Engle by the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review in 2017 brought immense joy and further enriched Sam’s literary pursuits.
While residing in Florida, Sam reconnected with the captivating narratives of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s timeless maxim, “In order to write about life first you must live it,” exemplified his own life filled with thrilling exploits. For Sam, whose life may have been considered comparatively “ordinary,” Hemingway’s tales transformed his everyday existence into an exhilarating journey. Works such as The Sun Also Rises and The Dangerous Summer became gateways to adventure within the realm of literature.
Since his involvement in a school production of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Sam’s curiosity for Twain’s work became enduring. Over a century after Twain’s passing, his influence remains palpable in American literature and broader cultural context. Twain’s casual literary style left an indelible mark on American authors, as Ernest Hemingway aptly expressed in 1935, “All modern American literature comes from a book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” Twain’s timeless humor continues to resonate with readers, evoking laughter even from the most skeptical individuals. Guided by Twain’s wise words, such as “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest,” Sam successfully navigates the intricacies of his personal and professional life.
Sam Oshana’s journey has been shaped by the wisdom and inspiration derived from the works of Thoreau, Whitman, Hemingway, and Twain. Their profound words have guided him, offering solace, motivation, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. Through their enduring influence, Sam continues to explore new horizons, both literary and personal, forging a path enriched by the legacies of these remarkable writers.