March 16, 2018

A Second Mencken Chrestomathy - download pdf or read online

By H.L. Mencken

ISBN-10: 0307831116

ISBN-13: 9780307831118

This excellent Sequel to the best-selling A Mencken Chrestomathy of approximately part a century in the past is stuffed with the iconoclastic logic that marked H. L. Mencken's remarkable profession because the finest American social critic of the 20th century. accrued by means of Mencken himself sooner than he died in 1956, this moment chrestomathy ("a number of chosen literary passages," with the accessory at the tom) comprises writings a few number of topics - politics, battle, track, 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 continues to be appropriate to a truly various the United States.

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Writing in great unbroken arcs of gusto, he briskly sweeps the reader along from one outrageous assertion to the next: A dog is a standing proof that most so-called human rights, at bottom, are worth nothing. A dog is proverbially devoid of any such rights, and yet it lives well and is happy. … Yet a dog has none of the great rights that men esteem, glory in and die for. It cannot vote. It cannot get converted by Dr. Billy Sunday. It cannot go to jail for some great and lofty principle—say, equal suffrage or birth control.

It is this constant possibility of rising, this constant risk of falling, that gives a barbaric picturesqueness to the panorama of what is called fashionable society in America. The chief character of that society is to be found in its shameless self-assertion, its almost obscene display of its importance and of the shadowy privileges and acceptances on which that importance is based. It is assertive for the simple reason that, immediately it ceases to be assertive, it would cease to exist. Structurally, it is composed in every town of a nucleus of those who have laboriously arrived and a chaotic mass of those who are straining every effort to get on.

Mencken delivered a 185,000-word revised draft on September 24, 1948, and approved the copyedited manuscript on November 8. Fifteen days later, a massive stroke left him unable to read or write for the rest of his life. A Mencken Chrestomathy was published the following July, two months before Mencken’s sixty-ninth birthday. It turned up on the New York Times best-seller list almost immediately, appearing alongside Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Seven Storey Mountain, The Fountainhead, Cheaper by the Dozen, John P.

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A Second Mencken Chrestomathy by H.L. Mencken

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