A Second Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken

By H.L. Mencken

This excellent Sequel to the best-selling A Mencken Chrestomathy of approximately part a century in the past is stuffed with the iconoclastic good judgment that marked H. L. Mencken's astounding occupation because the most advantageous American social critic of the 20 th century. amassed by way of Mencken himself prior to he died in 1956, this moment chrestomathy ("a number of chosen literary passages," with the accessory at the tom) includes writings a few number of topics - politics, warfare, song, literature, women and men, attorneys, brethren of the material. a few of his essays have beguiling titles - "Notes for a good Autobiography," "The Commonwealth of Morons," "Le Vice Anglais," "Acres of Babble," "Hooch for the Artist." them all are a excitement to learn, and we're reminded that what Mencken wrote within the early years of this century is still appropriate to a really assorted the US.

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Brethren of the Cloth Playing with Fire Shock Troops Story Without a Moral Divine Virtuosity VIII. Man and Superman The Great Illusion Ethical Origins The Flesh Is Weak The Supreme Curse Thrift The Genealogy of Etiquette At the Mercy of the Mob The Goal The Superman Heredity Happiness The Horns of the Dilemma IX. Men and Women The Curse of Man Le Vice Anglais Sex on the Stage Women as Spectacles Venus at the Domestic Hearth Clubs Efficiency as Charm Woman and the Artist Martyrs Issue The Burnt Child On Connubial Bliss Divorce Cast a Cold Eye X.

Any man with a superior air, the intelligence of a stock-broker, and the resolution of a hat-check girl—in brief, any man who believes in himself enough, and with sufficient cause, to be called a journeyman at his trade—can cadge enough money, in this glorious commonwealth of morons, to make life soft for him. And if a lining for the purse is thus facilely obtainable, given a reasonable prudence and resourcefulness, then balm for the ego is just as unlaboriously got, given ordinary dignity and decency.

But to dismiss Mencken as a pure stylist, a Wodehouse-like juggler of shiny metaphors, is to ignore the fact that his attitude toward life is the point of his work. This attitude, as has often been remarked, is profoundly bleak: few American writers have had a stronger sense of the futility of man’s earthly existence. Yet there is nothing lugubrious about Mencken’s tragic sense of life. Perhaps the most revealing selection in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy is the Monday Article he wrote on the death of Albert Hildebrandt, one of his oldest friends: “The universe is run idiotically, and its only certain product is sorrow.

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