A Mencken Chrestomathy - Chapter 29, Buffooneries, Chapter 30, Sententiae, Chapter 31, Appendix Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 29 contains a variety of silly essays that Mencken penned. The first is a sort of play where pallbearers discuss the philosophical nature of death. Some argue that death is the end of life, others think we live on in the memories of others, still others give religious theories. Next Mencken translates the Declaration of Independence into ordinary American English, as spoken by the masses.

In the third piece, Mencken unveils a dialogue between Pharaoh Cheops, who built the Sphinx in Egypt, and a friend. They discuss the comparative architectures of Egypt and Babylon. The prose, however, speaks as if the social conditions are the same as they are today, containing labor union strikes in the construction of the Sphinx, for instance. The fourth piece claims that December 20th, 1917 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the...

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