These pieces remind us that he was uncommonly skilled at what the best of his biographers, Terry Teachout, calls "meticulous serial revision": writing a column for the Evening Sun, revising and expanding it for the Smart Set or the American Mercury, then doing so once more before adding it to one of the many books in which his work was collected. Thanks to Joshi, we can see now that Mencken, probably completely unconsciously, was laying the groundwork in these newspaper columns of the 1920s and '30s for the "Days" books that he began to write (in New Yorker installments) in 1936.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Havoc and amiability ...
... 'Mencken on Mencken,' by Jonathan Yardley. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)