San Francisco's Literary Frontier

By Franklin Dickerson Walker | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER IX
THE TOWN CRIER

No writer connected with the Far-Western frontier has given rise to more bizarre stories and conflicting theories than Ambrose Gwinnett ("Almighty God") Bierce, known to posterity as Bitter Bierce. Was he a social-minded editor who set about reform with a trenchant pen backed by a six-shooter, or merely a selfish misanthrope who gained sadistic pleasure in breaking butterflies on the wheel? Was he a soft-hearted sentimentalist who mocked at a world which hurt him too much, an idealist who turned bitter because he could not find the perfection he craved, or a wit who was spoiled by early adulation and adopted the satiric pose as his most effective role? Were his many idiosyncrasies, such as his refusal to eat spinach, his loathing of dogs, and his fondness for skulls as desk ornaments, simply acts in a show which culminated dramatically in one of the best-staged disappearances of modern times? Or was he a strange, powerful genius whose talent fell on fallow ground because he was unfortunately born into a society that would not stomach satiric medicine?

Though critics are even today by no means agreed on the intrinsic value of Ambrose Bierce's literary output, they unite in recognizing him as one of the first American writers to por

-237-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
San Francisco's Literary Frontier
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 400

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?