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Old 12-04-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
1,977 posts, read 6,427,520 times
Reputation: 569

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I attend a weekly lunch in East Baltimore attended by former Sun talents as Highlandtown's own Rafael Alvarez, whose evocative stories are full of Baltimoreana and nostalgia, and photographer Jim Burger. The latter told gathering something that struck me as news: H.L. Mencken is dead!
Burger found this out when he tried to sell several mint copies of the Sunpapers history that was co-authored by Mencken, Frank Kent, Hamilton Owens. That used to be a book much in demand and commanded nice prices. But Burger was told that the Mencken market had collapsed and the books were pretty much worthless. Mencken, one bookshop said, was seen as regional writer of limited interest who is chiefly remembered by only those to be on walkers.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I don't know anything about Mencken but I used to work with Rafael Alvarez's mother.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:43 AM
 
Location: NYC
7,311 posts, read 12,600,465 times
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A cardboard cutout of his image still peers out of his house on Hollins St. He is giving the neighborhood a raspberry.

Literary education in public schools seems pretty dead, to me. In my four years of high school ('96-'00) we read two novels: Lord of the Flies and The Scarlet Letter. Those in advanced classes read quite a few, however.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
1,977 posts, read 6,427,520 times
Reputation: 569
Default A view from across the pond

Michael Dirda reviews Prejudices by H. L. Mencken, edited by Marion Rogers - TLS
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
6,178 posts, read 9,852,252 times
Reputation: 4838
Don't say that! You're mencken me feel sad!
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:15 PM
 
2,991 posts, read 4,004,526 times
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Anyone who is interested in reading Mencken might like the new compilation of his early work released by the Library of America. I have read most of this new volume. Mencken was a very nasty man. He was also very good at being very nasty, as he had one of the largest English-language vocabularies ever known. When he insulted you, you were really, really insulted, in a heavy-duty kind of way. He was also author of the scholarly book "The American Language."
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