Sunday, June 3, 2007

Now Reading

The Diary of H.L. Mencken -- I've never read anything by Mencken so this may seem like an odd place to start, but I love knowing something about the lives of authors when I read their work. The fact that I got this book free from my Grandma, who in turn got it for $1.70, doesn't hurt.

There are entertaining descriptions of drunken authors (some famous, Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Faulkner, and some not) hounding any host that will have them. There are interesting tales of backroom newspaper dealings and professional feuds. And there are a whole bunch of entries detailing Mencken's ailments as he predicts his imminent death for 10 years running.

This may sound like a dry read, and in large part it is, but I've been quite captivated by it for the past weeks. When I'm done maybe I'll read something Mencken actually intended for me to read.

1 comment:

Little Earl said...

All I really think of when I think of H. L. Mencken is Gene Kelly as "E. K. Hornbeck" in the 1960 film Inherit the Wind (about the Scopes Monkey Trial). They changed everyone's name ever-so-slightly so that you still basically know who everyone's supposed to be (William Jennings Bryan becomes "Matthew Harrison Brady," Clarence Darrow becomes "Henry Drummond," etc.). I found it interesting that Gene Kelly did a normal dramatic role that didn't have him singing and dancing and everything. He was quite good (if still not as good as Spencer Tracy and Frederic March in the two lead roles).