Last Week with H. L. Mencken

See how writers were quoting Mencken last week and which quotations they used.

January 8 – from a book review about war in Afghanistan: “I think you could put 100 war memoirs on a shelf and they would not contain as many references to Western intellectuals as Rubin’s 290-page book, which mentions Herbert Marcuse, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky, Simone Weil, Joan Didion, Dwight Macdonald, Carl Schmitt, Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, Samuel Freeman, Sigmund Freud, H.L. Mencken, and Guy Debord, as well as the poets Sylvia Plath and Czesław Miłosz, among many others.”

January 9 – from the Crossword Dictionary: “the answers for the crossword clue ‘A man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin,’ per H. L. Mencken’.”

January 10 – from the Orange County Register: “‘Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard,’ quipped the curmudgeonly journalist H.L. Mencken.”

January 11 – from the Jewish News Syndicate: “As the great cynic, journalist H.L. Mencken, wrote, ‘Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.’”

January 12 – from a newspaper in North Dakota: “‘Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance,’” H.L. Mencken wrote in his “Notes on Democracy,” and while that’s far too cynical a perspective for me, we can recognize in his polemic some truths about modern politics.”

January 13 – from a news story about California’s Salton Sea: “An excellent guide to assessing the value of projects meant to ‘fix’ the Sump is H.L. Mencken’s observation: ‘Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.