Friday, February 10, 2017

the damage was done..................

Once he had read through most of the contents of the family library, he headed down the street to the local branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.  By the time he was nine, he had borrowing privileges, and "began an almost daily harrying of the virgins at the delivery desk."  Mencken's fondness for books took a toll on his frame (and his disposition), as he spent two-thirds of his time with books and only one-third with "trees, fields, streets, and people."  "I acquired round shoulders, spindly shanks, and a despondent view of humanity."  Such "madness" lasted until his adolescence, when he "began to distinguish between one necktie and another, and to notice the curiously divergent shapes, dispositions and aromas of girls."  Even so, the damage was done, and Mencken entered at a very early age the world of language and literary arts.

-D. G. Hart,  Damning Words, the life and religious times of H. L. Mencken

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