Monday, January 12, 2015

H. L. Mencken at his home on Hollins Street (Union Square), in April of 1942, walking under the grape arbor that he built in his garden.
Union Square's most famous resident, no doubt, was H. L. Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956), an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore," he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. Many of his books remain in print. Decades after his death, people are still discovering and celebrating his literary work.

Why do we still read Henry Louis Mencken? He was mostly a columnist, and columns are usually forgotten the day after they are published. One of the main reasons we still read Mencken is that he was enormously funny. The ability to write humorously about serious things is one of the rarest gifts an author can have.

Mencken also wrote about his own times with great detachment. As a result, many of his quotes still show up and are applicable today. Here's a link to a great collection of Mencken quotes—he had a lot to say about a lot of things:
Quotes from H. L. Mencken


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