di Suvero, Mark, 1933-, American sculptor, b. Shanghai. Di Suvero's major works are constructions of massize pieces of steel, huge weathered timbers, tires, chains, and rope. They are remarkable for their large scale, their composition from common materials, and the effect of motion they produce. Di Suvero's work is represented in the Art Institute of Chicago; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.; and the Whitney Museum, New York City.
Lemon, Mark, 1809-70, English editor and humorist. He was a founder of Punch in 1841 and one of its first editors. Besides contributing to periodicals, he wrote more than 60 plays, none of them memorable.
Van Doren, Mark 1894-1973, American poet and critic, b. Hope, Vermilion co., Ill., grad. Univ. of Illinois, 1914, Ph.D. Columbia, 1920; brother of Carl Van Doren. He taught English at Columbia (1920-59), where he was a renowned and dedicated teacher. He was also on the staff of the Nation (1924-28, 1935-38). With Carl Van Doren he wrote American and British Literature since 1890 (1939). He wrote critical studies of various authors, including John Dryden (1920) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (1949), compiled several anthologies, and collected his lectures on poetry in The Noble Voice (1946). As a poet Van Doren was deeply influenced by Wordsworth. Among his volumes of poems are Collected Poems, 1922-1938 (1939; Pulitzer Prize) and Morning Worship and Other Poems (1959). Other writings include novels and a play, The Last Days of Lincoln (1959). He also wrote the influential Liberal Education (1943).

See his collected stories (3 vol., 1962-68) and collected poems (1963 and 1969); his autobiography (1958); the memoirs of his wife, Dorothy Graffe Van Doren, The Professor and I (1959).

Morris, Mark 1956-, American dancer and choreographer, b. Seattle, Wash. After training in Balkan folk dance, flamenco, and ballet, he went on to dance for Eliot Feld, Laura Dean, and Lar Lubovitch. His own company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, debuted in New York in 1980; from 1988 to 1991 it was the resident company the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. In 1990 he and Mikhail Baryshnikov established the White Oak Dance Project, a group formed to choreograph and perform new dance. In 2001 his company moved into permanent studios in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Since the 1980s Morris's dances have attracted great interest for their craftsmanship, ingenuity, musicality, and iconoclastic choreography as well as their sometimes eclectic and always live musical accompaniments; his solo performance of O Rangasayee, for example, was danced to an Indian raga. He won particular acclaim for The Hard Nut (1991), a campily ebullient version of The Nutcracker set in the 1960s. Generally less ironic and more serious in tone, his other works include L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, ed Il Moderato (1988), Dido and Aeneas (1989), The Office (1995), Greek to Me (2000), a dance version of the Virgil Thomson-Gertrude Stein opera Four Saints in Three Acts (2001), the ballet The Garden (2001), the modern dance pieces V (2002), All Fours (2004), and Rock of Ages (2005), a new version of the classic ballet Sylvia (2004), Mozart Dances (2006), a joyous vaudevillesque version of Purcell's King Arthur (2006), and a new ballet to Prokofiev's score for Romeo and Juliet (2008). Morris officially retired as a dancer in 2006.

See biography by J. Acocella (1993, repr. 2004); J. Escoffier and M. Lore, ed., Mark Marris's l'Allegro, Il Pensoroso, ed Il Moderato: A Celebration (2001); T. Grimm, dir., Dance in America: Mark Morris with the Mark Morris Dance Group (video, 1986).

Aldanov, Mark, pseud. of Mark Aleksandrovich Landau, 1886-1957, Russian writer. Aldanov earned degrees in chemistry and law. He took part in the Revolution of 1917, after which he emigrated to France, where he wrote novels about social conflict. These include The Thinker, a tetralogy on the events of the era 1793-1821, comprising The Ninth Thermidor (1923, tr. 1926), The Devil's Bridge (1925, tr. 1928), The Conspiracy (1927), and St. Helena: Little Island (1921, tr. 1924). The Tenth Symphony (1931, tr. 1948) concerns Vienna in Beethoven's time. The Fifth Seal (1939, tr. 1943) portrays the decay of revolutionary idealism during the Spanish civil war. Aldanov describes the clash between Soviet and American ideologies in Nightmare and Dawn (tr. 1957). Among his last works are A Night at the Airport (tr. 1949) and The Escape (tr. 1950). He visited the United States in 1941, returning to France shortly before his death.
Hopkins, Mark, 1802-87, American educator, b. Stockbridge, Mass., grad. Williams, 1824, and Berkshire Medical School, 1829. After a few months of medical practice he returned (1830) to Williams as professor of moral philosophy and rhetoric. President of the college from 1836 to 1872 and professor of intellectual and moral philosophy until his death, he was renowned as a teacher and administrator. He was ordained in the Congregational Church in 1836, preached frequently, and was president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (1857-87). His works include the Lowell Institute lectures for 1844, which later appeared as Evidences of Christianity (1863; rev. for text use), Lectures on Moral Science (1862), The Law of Love and Love as a Law (1869), and The Scriptural Idea of Man (1883).

See biographical studies by F. Carter (1892) and F. Rudolph (1956).

Hopkins, Mark, 1813-78, American railroad builder and merchant, b. Henderson, N.Y. A clerk in a village store and later a commission merchant in New York City, he was more than 35 years old when he went to California. There he became (1853) a partner of Collis P. Huntington and was later one of the incorporators of the Central Pacific RR, of which he became treasurer.

See O. Lewis, The Big Four (1938, repr. 1963); E. C. Latta and M. L. Allison, Controversial Mark Hopkins (2d rev. ed. 1963).

Twain, Mark, pseud. of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910, American author, b. Florida, Mo. As humorist, narrator, and social observer, Twain is unsurpassed in American literature. His novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a masterpiece of humor, characterization, and realism, has been called the first (and sometimes the best) modern American novel.

Early Life and Works

After the death of his father in 1847, young Clemens was apprenticed to a printer in Hannibal, Mo., the Mississippi River town where he spent most of his boyhood. He first began writing for his brother's newspaper there, and later he worked as a printer in several major Eastern cities. In 1857, Clemens went to New Orleans on his way to make his fortune in South America, but instead he became a Mississippi River pilot—hence his pseudonym, "Mark Twain," which was the river call for a depth of water of two fathoms. The Civil War put an end to river traffic, and in 1862 Clemens went west to Carson City, Nev., where he failed in several get-rich-quick schemes. He eventually began writing for the Virginia City Examiner and later was a newspaperman in San Francisco.

Soon the humorist "Mark Twain" emerged, a writer of tall tales and absurd anecdotes. He first won fame with the comic masterpiece "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," first published in 1865 in the New York Saturday Press and later (1867) used as the title piece for a volume of stories and sketches. When he returned from a trip to Hawaii financed by the Sacramento Union in 1866, Twain became a successful humorous lecturer. The articles he wrote on a journey to the Holy Land were published in 1869 as The Innocents Abroad. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon of Elmira, N.Y., and settled down in Hartford, Conn., to be "respectable," although Roughing It (1872) presented anecdotes of his less genteel past on the Western frontier.

Mature Works

In Hartford, Twain wrote some of his best work: The Gilded Age (1873), a satirical novel written with Charles Dudley Warner about materialism and corruption in the 1870s; two evocations of his boyhood in Hannibal, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884); The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a novel for children that blends the simplicity of a fairy tale with realistic social criticism; and the nonfictional Life on the Mississippi (1883). He also produced a travel book, A Tramp Abroad (1880), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), in which satirical overtones reflect a profound seriousness.

Later Life and Works

Some of Twain's later works are forced attempts at humor—The American Claimant (1892) and two sequels to Tom Sawyer. His distinctly bitter Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) underscores his increasingly melancholy attitude. Over the years Twain had invested a great deal of money in unsuccessful printing and publishing ventures, and in 1893 he found himself deeply in debt. To recoup his losses he wearily lectured his way around the world, being funny at whatever cost, and recording his experiences in Following the Equator (1897).

His later life was shadowed by the deaths of two of his daughters and by the long illness and death in 1904 of his wife. Some critics think that the fierce pessimism of his later works derives from these tragedies. Whatever the reason, he abandoned the optimistic tone of The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), and wrote such somber works as The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg (1899), What Is Man? (1905), The Mysterious Stranger (1916), and Letters from the Earth (1962). The strange contradiction in personality between the genial humorist and the declared misanthrope has long intrigued commentators and makes Twain a fascinating biographical subject.

Twain's Masterpiece: Huckleberry Finn

Twain's literary reputation rests most particularly on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In its hero, a resourceful, unconventional boy with an innate sense of human values, Twain created one of the most memorable characters in fiction. The narrative device of a raft carrying Huck and a runaway slave down the Mississippi enabled Twain to achieve a realistic portrait of American life in the 19th cent. Through his use of authentic vernacular speech he revolutionized the language of American fiction and exerted a great influence on many subsequent American writers. In 1990 a handwritten manuscript of the first half of the novel was discovered that includes a number of minor changes and an episode that was left out of the original published version; these passages were included in an edition published in 1996.


See his collected letters, ed. by E. M. Branch et al. (1987); his correspondence with William Dean Howells, ed. by F. Anderson et al. (1967); his notebooks, ed. by F. Anderson et al. (3 vol., 1975-80); his autobiography, ed. by C. Neider (1959); biographies by J. Kaplan (1966, repr. 2003), A. Hoffman (1997), F. Kaplan (2003), and R. Powers (2005); studies by W. D. Howells (1910), B. De Voto (1932), H. N. Smith (1967), V. W. Brooks (rev. ed. 1933, repr. 1970), and W. Gibson (1976); F. Anderson and K. M. Sanderson, ed., Mark Twain: The Critical Heritage (1972).

Rothko, Mark, 1903-70, American painter, b. Russia. Rothko emigrated to the United States in 1913. He was a student of Max Weber, then came under the influence of the surrealists. In the mid-1940s Rothko experimented with abstraction, arranging intense colors in irregular shapes. Soon he became a leading exponent of a uniquely meditative and personal strain within the larger movement of abstract expressionism. His later works (e.g., No. 10, 1950; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) frequently consist of floating rectangles of luminous color on enormous canvases that manage to simultaneously convey a deep sensuality and a profound spirituality. Rothko's images to some degree presaged some of the techniques of the later color-field painting. He collaborated with the architect Philip Johnson on the design of a chapel in Houston in the mid-1960s. Rothko committed suicide.

See his The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art (2004), ed. by his son, Christopher Rothko; biography by J. E. B. Breslin (1993); D. Anfam, Mark Rothko: the Works on Canvas: Catalogue Raisonné (1998); P. Selz, Mark Rothko (1972); L. Seldes, The Legacy of Mark Rothko (1978, repr. 1996); D. Ashton, About Rothko (1983, repr. 1996); A. C. Chave, Mark Rothko: Subjects in Abstraction (1989); M. Glimcher, ed., The Art of Mark Rothko (1991); D. Waldman, Mark Rothko in New York (1994); S. Nadelman, The Rothko Chapel Paintings (1996); L. Seldes, The Legacy of Mark Rothko (1996), J. S. Weiss et al., Mark Rothko (1998); K. Ottmann, The Essential Mark Rothko (2003).

Tobey, Mark, 1890-1976, American painter, b. Centerville, Wis. An avid traveler, Tobey visited China and Japan in 1934. He then developed his celebrated "white writing," in which he attempted to symbolize the human spirit by applying principles of Eastern calligraphy to the rhythms of Western civilization. An exciting sense of motion and lyric treatment of light and color are revealed in his San Francisco Street (1941; Detroit Inst. of Arts) and Fountains of Europe (1955; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston). In 1923, Tobey settled in the NW United States; much of his work is exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum. Transit (1948; Metropolitan Mus.) is characteristic of the East Asian influence in Tobey's art.

See catalog by W. Seitz (1962).

Strand, Mark, 1934-, American poet, b. Prince Edward Island, Canada. His poetry is noted for its confrontation with the surreal and irrational. His collections include Sleeping with One Eye Open (1964), Darker (1970), Selected Poems (1980), Blizzard of One (1998; Pulitzer Prize), and New Selected Poems (2007). He has also published a novel, Mr. and Mrs. Baby (1985), and has edited several distinguished poetry anthologies, including The Contemporary American Poets (1969) and Another Republic (1976). He was poet laureate of the United States (1990-91).
Mark, Saint [Lat. Marcus], Christian apostle, traditional author of the 2d Gospel (see Mark, Gospel according to). His full name was John Mark. His mother, named Mary, had a house in Jerusalem, which the Christians used as a meeting place. Mark accompanied St. Paul and St. Barnabas, who was his cousin or uncle, on their mission to Cyprus, but he left them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem. Paul refused to take Mark on his second trip, thus creating a breach with Barnabas. Tradition identifies Mark with the young man who "fled from them naked" at Gethsemane. Tradition also makes him an associate of St. Peter, who is thought to have furnished many of the evangelist's facts. The Alexandrian church claims Mark as its founder—the liturgy of that church is called the Liturgy of St. Mark. St. Mark is the patron of Venice and of its famous cathedral, where his relics are shown. His symbol as an evangelist is a lion. Feast: Apr. 25.
Mark, Gospel according to, 2d book of the New Testament. The shortest of the four Gospels and probably the earliest, it is usually thought to have been composed shortly before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Tradition claims St. Mark as the author and St. Peter as the eyewitness authority who supplied much of his information. Because much of the material in Mark is found in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, it is likely that Mark's Gospel was an important source for those later Gospels (see Synoptic Gospels). The Gospel of St. Mark may be divided into four sections: beginning of the ministry of Jesus; his first two years of preaching and healing in Galilee; his third year of ministry, including the journey to Jerusalem; the passion and resurrection. The earliest manuscripts of the Gospel conclude with the news of Christ's resurrection proclaimed at his open tomb; later manuscripts conclude with a longer passage in which the risen Jesus appears to some of his disciples. A large portion of the Gospels is devoted to the events of the week leading up to Christ's trial and crucifixion; they are foreshadowed earlier in the Gospel by Christ's three "passion predictions." Mark teaches that true discipleship comes from an appreciation not so much of Christ's miracles as of the service and suffering that characterize his ministry and messiahship. Jesus is presented as reluctant to disclose his true nature to those who lack the understanding that comes from insight into his suffering.

See W. Telford, ed., The Interpretation of Mark (1985); P. J. Achtemeier, Mark (1986); R. Price, Three Gospels (1996) .

mark, designation for the free village community that was supposed to have been the unit of primitive German social life. According to a theory formulated in the 19th cent. by Georg Ludwig von Maurer and others, the mark was composed of free men in voluntary association, holding lands communally, and governed by a chief elected for a short term. The theory was expanded by other scholars, among them Edward Augustus Freeman, but it later was bitterly attacked by the historians N. D. Fustel de Coulanges and Frederic Seebohm. It has become generally accepted that Roman as well as Germanic institutions influenced the formation of the medieval manorial system and that the idyllic democratic society depicted by Maurer never existed. See village.
Akenside, Mark, 1721-70, English poet and physician. His chief literary work was the didactic poem The Pleasures of Imagination (1744). Among his other works are the neoclassical Odes on Various Subjects (1745) and the Epistle to Curio (1744), a vigorous political satire. Akenside's conversion to Tory principles at the accession of George III earned him the appointment of physician to the queen.

Mark may refer to:




Catching a ball

In both Australian rules football and rugby union, a clean catch from a kick by another player results in a free kick. See:



  • Mark (mass), an archaic European unit of weight whose use for precious metal gave rise to the currencies


  • Service mark, trademark used to identify a service rather than a product
  • Trade mark, distinctive sign of some kind which is used by a business to uniquely identify itself and its products and services
  • The victim in a confidence trick


  • Mark of Cornwall, a figure from Arthurian legend
  • Mark, a satyr, a legend in Ancient Greece, regarded as a god in Thebes.


  • Beauty mark, dark mole on the face or other part of the body that is considered to be attractive
  • Diacritical mark, mark added to a letter to alter a word's pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words
  • Mark of Rohan, fictional realm in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy era of Middle-earth. See also Marches.
  • Mark, a grade awarded to students' work
  • Merchant's Mark
  • Sea mark, pilotage aid which identifies the approximate position of a maritime channel, hazard and administrative area
  • Tread mark, a mark left by a tire tread
  • Mark (given name), a given name to a person. The name comes from Latin roots meaning "defender"
  • A fan of professional wrestling.

See also

Search another word or see markon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature