From lettersofnote.com :
In July of 1931, author and philosopher Will Durant
wrote to a number of notable figures and asked, essentially, "What is the meaning of life?" His letter concluded:
Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what keeps you going, what help—if any—religion gives you, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy, what is the goal or motive-force of your toil, where you find your consolations and your happiness, where, in the last resort, your treasure lies. Write briefly if you must; write at length and at leisure if you possibly can; for every word from you will be precious to me.
Durant received many replies, a selection of which were compiled in the book, "On the Meaning of Life
." By far the greatest response, in my opinion, came from the great H. L. Mencken
. It can, and should, be read below.
(Description above taken straight from the linked post, as it summed it up pretty well)
posted by datter
on Feb 1, 2012 -
"The Declaration of Independence in American," by H.L. Mencken.
"When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Why we did what we did. In American, so everyone can understand.
posted by John of Michigan
on Jul 4, 2010 -
Today is the anniversary of the famous Hatrack case,
in which H.L. Mencken was arrested for selling indecent literature in Boston. (Herbert Asbury
, the author of the Hatrack story, was largely forgotten, except for this incident, until Scorsese made his novel in Gangs of New York.) The case was just one episode in the career of an American literary giant, reporter, columnist, and editor. Gore Vidal said, "Mencken is a nice antidote. Politically, he is often right but seldom correct by today's stern standards."
This is perhaps the best website devoted to Mencken
, with extensive links. Particularly recommended are The Hills of Zion
, part of his coverage of the Scopes trial; and his obituary savaging William Jennings Bryan.
If you've never read Mencken it's almost impossible to convey how well-written, incisive and funny his writing really is.
posted by OmieWise
on Apr 5, 2005 -
The Declaration of Independence in American
by H.L. Mencken, circa 1921. A quote: "When things get so balled up that the people of a country have to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are on the level, and not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Gangbusters!
posted by acridrabbit
on Dec 5, 2001 -