By H.L. Mencken
This glorious 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 remarkable occupation because the most appropriate American social critic of the 20th century. accrued by means of Mencken himself sooner than he died in 1956, this moment chrestomathy ("a choice of chosen literary passages," with the accessory at the tom) comprises writings a few number of topics - politics, battle, song, literature, women and men, legal professionals, brethren of the fabric. a few of his essays have beguiling titles - "Notes for a decent 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 truly diverse the US.
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The arrangement of this book, though modeled on the original Chrestomathy, is entirely my own doing. ) I have done a limited amount of additional editing of the text, mostly to correct typographical errors and reconcile stylistic inconsistencies; I have retained Mencken’s customary usages, including his idiosyncratic approach to capitalization and his period spelling. Following Mencken’s example in the passages he revised most extensively, as well as in his editing of the original Chrestomathy, I have closed up line breaks and unnecessary paragraph breaks and excised superfluous exclamation points.
He should have two at the lowest—one for observing and studying the world, and the other for formulating and settling down his conclusions about it. ” Much of the interest of the Chrestomathys lies in the way they show how H. L. Mencken viewed his life’s work from the vantage point of middle age (and, though he did not know it, at the very end of his career). These volumes contain the essays he most wanted to preserve, revised to his satisfaction; they are the closest thing to a literary testament he chose to leave behind.
He is violently jealous of what he conceives to be his rights, but brutally disregardful of the other fellow’s. He is religious, but his religion is wholly devoid of beauty and dignity. This man, whether city or country bred, is the normal Americano. He exists in all countries, but here alone he rules—here alone his anthropoid fears and rages are accepted gravely as logical ideas, and dissent from them is punished as a sort of public offense. Around every one of his principal delusions—of the sacredness of democracy, of the feasibility of sumptuary law, of the incurable sinfulness of all other peoples, of the menace of ideas, of the corruption lying in all the arts—there is thrown a barrier of taboos, and woe to the anarchist who seeks to break it down.
A Second Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken