Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mencken on Wells and Chesterton

By E.J. Scheske

"A man with a head worth a pile of Chesterton heads as high as the Trafalgar monument."

That's H.L. Mencken, writing about H.G. Wells, dissing G.K. Chesterton.

Mencken was a Chesterton fan at first. In January 1910, he reviewed Chesterton's George Bernard Shaw with this type of high praise: "The cleverest man in all the world, with the second cleverest as his subject, is here doing his cleverest writing. . . Not since St. Augustine have the gods sent us a man who could make the incredible so fascinatingly probable."

HLM tired of GKC. Not too surprising. As GKC become increasingly Catholic, he probably became increasingly distasteful (and boring) to HLM.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Mencken also described Chesterton as "the cleverest man in the world, and also the most ignorant."