I just finished reading a collection of Ambrose Bierce‘s Civil War writings. I’m not really a Civil War buff (I have watched Ken Burn’s documentary and I enjoy Shelby Foote’s drawl but that’s the extent of it) but I was interested in finding out more about Ambrose Bierce. The writing in the stories is amazing and they are full of great lines like:
I will cheerfully confess that if my story had been different from what it was it might have been worse than it is.
If only all 19th century authors could have written like this. I’ve tried several times to read books from that time that are supposedly so great but I always bog down (have I mentioned Herman Melville’s extended ambergris digression before?). A year or so ago I forced myself to get through all of Henry James’ The Princess Casamassima but I couldn’t connect with the story and it was tedious to get through. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m glad to know that I am able to enjoy some things from this period.
Up next, I’m going to reread a book about elevator inspectors.