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By John F. Kelly | March 29, 1993
MY LIFE AS AUTHOR AND EDITOR. By H. L. Mencken. Edited by Jonathan Yardley. Knopf. 450 pages. $30.WELL, well, well. What have we here? Another racist, antisemitic broadside on the order of Henry Louis Mencken's explosive 1989 diary? Or perhaps a carefully edited (and excised) account of Mencken's reign as editor (with George Jean Nathan) of the zTC Smart Set (1914-1923) and later as founder and editor (again with Nathan) of the American Mercury (1924-1933)?A lot of both, as it turns out, although, happily, the editing by Jonathan Yardley, a columnist and book reviewer for the Washington Post, is well-done.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2014
In the spring of 1981, when Marion Rodgers was a senior at Goucher College, she nearly fell on top of a box of old papers that would change her life. Rodgers was preparing an article for the student newspaper paper on a former author and Goucher professor named Sara Haardt - who later married the iconoclastic journalist H.L. Mencken. "I was putting away one of her scrapbooks in the vault of the library's rare book room when I literally stumbled over a box that was lying on the floor next to a shelf," said Rodgers, now a resident of Washington, D.C. "Taped on the top of the box was a message that basically said, 'Do not open until 1981.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2011
It's Mencken's birthday, and everyone in the newsroom is starving for terrapin stew. And a beer. It took about three seconds to find some good Mencken writing on food and restaurants. He begins the essay "A Genial Restauranteur," from the collection "Newspaper Days, 1899-1906," with a defense of spelling: "I am well aware that the word restauranteur , as it appears in the title of this chapter, contains an n that the French eschew; my plea in confession and avoidance must be that I am not writing in French but American, and, specially, the American in vogue on the newspapers of my native Baltimorean in my salad days as journalist.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2014
I neglected to offer you anything from H.L. Mencken yesterday on his birthday. So today, I will let you judge for yourselves how much this passage from "On Being an American" (1922) rings true today:   "The United States, to my eye, is incomparably the greatest show on earth. It is a show which avoids diligently all the kinds of clowning which tire me most quickly--for example, royal ceremonials, the tedious hocus-pocus of haute politique , the taking of politics seriously--and lays chief stress upon the kinds which delight me unceasingly--for example, the ribald combats of demagogues, the exquisitely ingenious operations of master rogues, the pursuit of witches and heretics, the desperate struggles of inferior men to claw their way into Heaven.
NEWS
December 31, 2011
After having read your editorial supporting Maryland's red light and speed cameras, I am forced to wonder how you, as journalistic heirs to the great H. L. Mencken, have so completely lost touch with the basic realities of the contemporary world ("The purpose of speed cameras," Dec. 27). These devices have nothing whatever to do with any type of road safety. They were brought to us by a cadre of manipulative, lying, thieving politicians who were too cowardly to openly raise taxes yet desperate for revenue.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2012
Locked in a metal filing cabinet in The Sun 's library is a sheaf of manila folders packed with typed pages, copies of paste-up sheets and loops of pink, punched tapes - artifacts of H. L. Mencken's coverage of what he dubbed "the Scopes monkey trial. " Mencken was in poor health by the time The Sun 's offices moved to this brick building on Calvert Street. But more than a half-century after his death, his presence remains strongly felt here. His face, waggish and clutching a cigar between his lips, gazes down on those who pass through The Sun 's lobby.
NEWS
By Carl Bode | January 31, 1991
TUESDAY at the Enoch Pratt Library, an interesting ritual was observed. The final batch of Mencken papers was exposed to public view.Present were scholars, librarians, editors and other Mencken buffs. The papers were composed of two sets of typescript volumes. One was reminiscences of Mencken's newspaper experiences, "Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work," in three volumes; the other was his experiences with writers and critics, "My Life as Author and Editor," in four volumes.In one corner of the room some thought they saw the shade of Mencken puffing a long, mean cigar under a No Smoking sign.
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | February 8, 2013
With Valentine's Day approaching, it's a good time to review some of the literary love stories that have been set in Baltimore. In an article in the latest issue of the Sun magazine, reporter Jill Rosen highlights the relationships of H.L. Mencken, Edgar Allan Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald -- all three of which ended in tragedy. Here are excerpts from that article. -- Sara Powell Haardt ... understood Mencken's commitment to his work. He appreciated her independence. They were two level-headed agnostics who loved Baltimore.
NEWS
By Paul T. Bohn | November 21, 1994
ALMOST EVERYTHING politically and sociologically relevant written by literary journalist H. L. Mencken is best taken with a grain of salt.Yet the man's audacity and stylish command of the language placed him high among America's men of letters. So there is still great anticipation now that "Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work," the last of Mencken's major unpublished works at his death in 1956, will soon be released by Johns Hopkins University Press.Mencken delighted in observing and ridiculing American presidents.
NEWS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,Evening Sun Staff | January 29, 1991
With a crowbar, hammer, screwdriver and wire cutters, officials of the Enoch Pratt Free Library today opened the final sealed writings of H.L. Mencken.There were seven small wooden crates, each nailed shut and bound by a steel band. Stamped on each crate were the words: "PAPERS OF HENRY L. MENCKEN DO NOT OPEN OPEN UNTIL JANUARY 29, 1991."Mencken was a writer and editor at The Evening Sun and The Sun for more than 35 years, as well as an influential magazine editor. He died Jan. 29, 1956. He had requested that these seven volumes not be opened until 35 years after his death.
NEWS
October 9, 2013
Baltimore sage H.L. Mencken provided several observations that are relevant to the current political situation. For example, he wrote that "people constantly speak of 'the government' doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. " On the fact that the fractious incompetents in Congress were all duly elected and that the country has thus...
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2013
To commemorate H.L. Mencken's birthday on this site,* it seems particularly fitting to repeat a salient passage from The American Language , a caution to all those who hold forth and English grammar and usage: The error of ... viewers with alarm is in assuming that there is enough magic in pedagogy to teach 'correct' English to the plain people. There is, in fact, too little; even the fearsome abracadabra of Teachers College, Columbia, will never suffice for the purpose. The plain people will always make their own language, and the best that grammarians can do is to follow after it, haltingly, and often without much insight.
NEWS
The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2013
Thursday marks the 133rd anniversary of the birth of H.L. Mencken, the influential writer, journalist, satirist and social critic known as the "Sage of Baltimore," who died at the age of 75 in 1956. In a video from 2012 (also above), The Sun 's Frederick Rasmussen talks about Mencken's life and work, discussing the Scopes Trial, bathtub hoax, Mencken's first beer after the repeal of Prohibition, his coverage of presidential nominating conventions and more. Rasmussen opens the video as follows: Henry Louis Mencken was born and raised in Baltimore, grew up in Union Square, and of course went on to become a celebrated American journalist.
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | February 8, 2013
With Valentine's Day approaching, it's a good time to review some of the literary love stories that have been set in Baltimore. In an article in the latest issue of the Sun magazine, reporter Jill Rosen highlights the relationships of H.L. Mencken, Edgar Allan Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald -- all three of which ended in tragedy. Here are excerpts from that article. -- Sara Powell Haardt ... understood Mencken's commitment to his work. He appreciated her independence. They were two level-headed agnostics who loved Baltimore.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | December 1, 2012
Richard D. Pickens, owner of a Crofton interior design firm who lived in Union Square, where he served as president of the Friends of the H.L. Mencken House, died Tuesday of stomach cancer at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was 50. "I was dumbfounded when I got the news about Richard's death. It was like a bolt out of the blue," said Harry R. Lord, a retired partner in the Baltimore law firm of Piper & Marbury. "Richard was really the lifeblood of the Mencken House for all these years.
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | September 7, 2012
If you're feeling bookish Saturday, check out the annual Mencken Day celebration at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's main branch or the Bookfest at the Waverly branch. Some highlights: Mencken Day runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the branch at 400 Cathedral Street. At 10:15 a.m., H. George Hahn, professor and chair of the English Department at Towson University, will present  "The Campus Trials of Mencken's Satire. " And the Mencken Memorial Lecture, "The Scopes Trial: How the Letter Kills," will be presented at 2:30 p.m. by Richard J. Schrader, professor emeritus of English at Boston College.
FEATURES
August 16, 2004
As visitors descend on Baltimore during the summer tourism season, staff writer Larry Bingham offers an occasional look at how the city has been portrayed by writers over the years. Today, an excerpt from Baltimore native and newspaperman H. L. Mencken, lamenting the changing city in the 1920s. "I was glad I was born long enough ago to remember, now, the days when the town had genuine color, and life here was worth living. I remember Guy's Hotel. I remember the Concordia Opera House. I remember the old Courthouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2012
Locked in a metal filing cabinet in The Sun 's library is a sheaf of manila folders packed with typed pages, copies of paste-up sheets and loops of pink, punched tapes - artifacts of H. L. Mencken's coverage of what he dubbed "the Scopes monkey trial. " Mencken was in poor health by the time The Sun 's offices moved to this brick building on Calvert Street. But more than a half-century after his death, his presence remains strongly felt here. His face, waggish and clutching a cigar between his lips, gazes down on those who pass through The Sun 's lobby.
NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2012
There's a fallacy that reporters detest being in the spotlight. If that were really true, articles would be published without bylines. But print journalists have found that it's easier and more fun to ask questions than it is to answer them. Nonetheless, there have been times in the past 175 years when the newspaper itself has made news and Sun staffer members have found themselves on the other side of the spiral notebook. Below are just a few examples: • The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 It might have begun when someone discarded a burning cigarette in the basement of a downtown office building Feb. 7. Thirty-one hours later, when the conflagration was finally brought under control, an 80-block area of downtown Baltimore had been destroyed, causing more than $150 million in damage - in 1904 dollars.
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