I’ve been reading “Chrestomathy” for a month, but still I haven’t finished it. It is so interesting that I really don’t want to skip. However I also don’t have much time for reading recently, being caught in the year end rush to get things done. The result is I can read only very little every day.
I wish I could talk about pessimistic views as entertainingly as Mencken.
But in so far as it was possible for him to be honest and exist at all politically, he inclined toward the straightforward thought and the candid word. That is to say, his instinct prompted him to tell the truth. … What ailed him was the fact that his lust for glory, when it came to a struggle, was always vastly more powerful than his lust for the eternal verities. Tempted sufficiently, he would sacrifice anything and everything to get applause.
“Chrestomathy” By H. L. Mencken, who’s describing a prominent politician.
Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man.
“Chrestomathy” By H. L. Mencken, who has a whimsical view on women.
By this preposterous doctrine (of romance), the defeat and enslavement of the man is made glorious, and even gifted with a touch of flattering naughtiness.
“Chrestomathy” By H. L. Mencken, who considers that marriage is very bad for men but very necessary for women.
The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all his woes, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible. He is forever embracing delusions, and each new one is worse than all that have gone before.
“Chrestomathy” By H. L. Mencken, who thinks human beings are too often delusional.
Even the greatest generals—for example Napoleon Bonaparte—walk idiotically into palpable traps, and waste thousands of lives getting themselves out. The lesser fry proceed heroically from disaster to disaster, as Burnside did during the Civil War and Joffre during the World War. The simplest problem of their ancient and elemental business flabbergasts them. They seem to be congenitally incapable of reasoning clearly, even when all the facts are before them. And at the enterprise of unearthing those facts they show only the gross and pathetic ineptitude of a second-rate lawyer or a third-rate pedagogue.
“Chrestomathy” By H. L. Mencken, who dislikes wars.