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Friday, April 16, 2004
TWO GREAT AMERICAN CYNICS
Ambrose Bierce and H.L. Mencken. Two of the crustiest curmudgeons who ever lifted a pen. And in this age of phoniness, of political correctness, of lies from both the right and the left, of Hollywood soundbites and Washington spin doctors - well, we could sure use a few of their ilk around..
Good intro to Bierce
Ambrose Bierce Site
All of the above contain links to his works, online. If you're looking for pithy and cynical quotes, check out 'The Devil's Dictionary' . However, Bierce also excelled in other genres. In horror fiction, he occupies a place between Poe and Lovecraft. Read 'The Damned Thing' and see for yourself..
Bierce had a most romantic ending - he disappeared into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution, in 1913, and was never seen again. Carlos Fuentes wrote a book imagining his last days, 'El Gringo Viejo' , which was made into a surprisingly good movie, 'The Old Gringo' , starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda..
H.L. Mencken occasionally got together for drinks with Bierce, before his disappearence. I'd have rather quaffed a few with them than with Hemingway in Cuba..
Being Baltimore, Maryland's most famous son, the state university maintains a nice collection of his works and effects..
Mencken - The Joyous Libertarian - perceptive essay by Murray Rothbard (from 1962)
Mencken on Democracy..
A rich thief.
--Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
That which one believes of others. It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.