Mencken on Mencken: A New Collection of Autobiographical Writings by S. T. Joshi
English | Mar. 1, 2010 | ISBN: 0807135925 | 272 Pages | PDF | 1 MB
"Mencken weighs 172 pounds, is 5 feet 10 inches in height and not beautiful. His chief amusement, after reading, is piano-playing, this he does very crudely. He takes no exercise except walking and is a moderate eater and drinker.
He sometimes drinks as little as one bottle of beer a week, though this doesn't happen very often." So wrote H. L. Mencken about himself, in a brief sketch of his life penned in 1905.
Perhaps America's foremost literary stylist and most mordant wit, Mencken's most engaging writing told about his own life and experiences. In , veteran Mencken editor and scholar S. T. Joshi has assembled a hefty collection of the best of Mencken's autobiographical pieces that have not appeared previously in book form. These forty-four selections cover a wide variety of topics ranging from incidents from Mencken's everyday life to reflections on friends and colleagues to his careers as author, journalist, and editor, to his travels abroad.
As a journalist in Baltimore, Mencken encountered many unusual characters: a professional mourner hired by a beer distiller, a wagon driver who slept through the great Baltimore fire of 1904, a confirmed bachelor who left town to avoid the clutches of a predatory widow. He provides accounts of literary figures he knew, such as Theodore Dreiser, and ruminations on his work at the Baltimore Sun and as editor for the magazines Smart Set and the American Mercury.
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