Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July 23rd, 2013

Last night I completed, “In Defense Of Women“, written by H. L. Mencken and originally published back in 1918.  The book took me about thirty-five years to finish (well, to start and finish).
I purchased this book as one of a series of titles under the banner of Time-Life Books. Part of the Time Reading Program Special Edition.  This just means I bought two books a month for a couple of years.  Way back when I got out of the Army, I decided I wanted to become more “learned”, more sophisticated, so I thought I would accomplish this by reading great books or great literature.  I couldn’t afford the “Great Books” series itself, so I decided to settle for some lesser works.  Hence, this series.
Each month I would dutifully receive them and then place them on my bookshelf, quite proud of myself that I was starting my own library.  Now the books were sold (advertised) as secondary works of great authors.  You weren’t reading their “acknowledged” best work, but you were reading something which had been deemed close.  This attitude of, “No, I haven’t read that, but everyone has…  Have you read this other work by him (/her)?”  seemed to feed easily into my ego.
To make a longer story shorter, I’ve never read any of the books.  More precisely, I have read one of them, but that was before buying it as part of the collection and that was back in my high school days.  So, about three months ago, I decided to crack into one of them.  There was no particular reason to choose this one over the other 30 or so except that my journal has a few quotes from the author (Mencken).
So, what do I think of the book?  Despite the fact it was written almost 100 years ago, it remains remarkably relevant.  It is, however, incredibly non-PC (politically correct).  The author has a fairly low opinion of humankind in general and men in specific.  Compared to men, Mencken finds women to be more than capable in most things.  In those things which Mencken finds tiresome (business and politics), he believes women can do no worse than men, but should not try as this will only lower them to the status of men, not raise those functions to a status worthy of women.
Mencken is a terrific (if flowery) writer of prose and the book is both funny and easy to read.  By easy to read I mean his ideas seem reasonable and coherently presented.  The topics are wide ranging – from marriage, to sex, to suffrage, to roles in modern society.  The only problem I had was sometimes the writing was so flowery, it was almost like walking through treacle – sweet, sticky and almost sickly.
I believe many who read this book will find it objectionable, but there is much to be said for any series of observations which can still raise ire even after this much time.  They each contain the kernel of truth upon which both good writing and good comedy depend to make their audience uncomfortable.  This is a classic and it is free to download from multiple sites.  Highly recommended!!
In case you’re wondering what’s “special” about the Special Edition, the books are published in fake leather red binding.  They are actually cardboard, but with gold lettering and trim, they appear quite a proper addition to a personal library.
.
On This Day In:
2012 Brain, n.
2011 Styles Of Leadership
2010 Face Front!

Read Full Post »

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.
  —    Miguel Ruiz
[This quote was found on a blog I follow: http://responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com/
The original posting can be found at:  http://responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/roger-ebert-i-do-not-fear-death/
Please visit the original site and enjoy!  —   KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2012 Brain, n.
2011 Styles Of Leadership
2010 Face Front!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: