Zitate von Henry Louis Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken Foto
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Henry Louis Mencken

Geburtstag: 12. September 1880
Todesdatum: 29. Januar 1956

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Henry Louis Mencken war ein US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Journalist, Literaturkritiker, Kolumnist und Satiriker.

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Zitate Henry Louis Mencken

„IDEALIST. Einer, der bemerkt hat, daß eine Rose besser als ein Kohl riecht, und daraus folgert, daß sie auch eine bessere Suppe abgeben müsse.“

—  Henry Louis Mencken
Aus dem Wörterbuch "Jazz Webster". Autorisierte Übersetzung von Thea Maria Lenz. In: DAS TAGE-BUCH. Berlin, 17. Februar 1923, Heft 7 Jahrg. 4. S. 222 archive. org

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„(Brief an Gore Vidal vom 28. Februar 1999) Jeder normale Mensch muss zuweilen versucht sein, in die Hände zu spucken, die schwarze Flagge zu hissen und ein paar Kehlen aufzuschlitzen.“

—  Henry Louis Mencken
Abgedruckt in Gore Vidal: Die Bedeutung von Timothy McVeigh. In Gore Vidal: Ewiger Krieg für ewigen Frieden. Aus dem Amerikanischen übersetzt von Bernhard Jendricke und Barbara Steckhan. EVA Hamburg 3. Aufl. 2002. Original "The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh", in Vanity Fair September 2001 vanityfair. com 4. Abschnitt.

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„A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.“

—  H.L. Mencken
Context: Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable. 15

„Human life is basically a comedy.“

—  H.L. Mencken
Context: Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable. 15

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„Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats“

—  H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series
Context: Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. Ch. 6, "The New Poetry Movement"

„The profoundest truths of the Middle Ages are now laughed at by schoolboys. The profoundest truths of democracy will be laughed at, a few centuries hence, even by school-teachers.“

—  H.L. Mencken
Context: Truth, indeed, is something that is believed in completely only by persons who have never tried personally to pursue it to its fastness and grab it by the tail. It is the adoration of second-rate men — men who always receive it as second-hand. Pedagogues believe in immutable truths and spend their lives trying to determine them and propagate them; the intellectual progress of man consists largely of a concerted effort to block and destroy their enterprise. Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed. In whole departments of human inquiry it seems to me quite unlikely that the truth ever will be discovered. Nevertheless, the rubber-stamp thinking of the world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth — that error and truth are simply opposites. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one. This is the whole history of the intellect in brief. The average man of today does not believe in precisely the same imbecilities that the Greek of the Fourth Century before Christ believed in, but the things that he does believe in are often quite as idiotic. Perhaps this statement is a bit too sweeping. There is, year by year, a gradual accumulation of what may be called, provisionally, truths — there is a slow accretion of ideas that somehow manage to meet all practicable human tests, and so survive. But even so, it is risky to call them absolute truths. All that one may safely say of them is that no one, as yet, has demonstrated that they are errors. Soon or late, if experience teaches us anything, they are likely to succumb too. The profoundest truths of the Middle Ages are now laughed at by schoolboys. The profoundest truths of democracy will be laughed at, a few centuries hence, even by school-teachers. Ch. 3 "Footnote on Criticism", pp. 85-104

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