H.L. Mencken letters to Robert Loveman
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
0.19 Cubic Feet (16 letters, 1 half-size document case)
Scope and Contents note
Mencken's letters often mixed political commentary along with literary. In response to Loveman's sonnet on Mexico, written during the coup led by General Huerta, Mencken wrote: "My best thanks for your fine sonnet on Mexico. I don't quite agree with its doctrine, but it is very good writing. My own view is that we ought to recognize Huerta and help him put down the rebellion. He is the strongest man in sight in Mexico, and the country needs a strong man badly... The Mexicans are wholly unfit for democracy; they need a despot, and Huerta is certainly as good as the next."
In 1916, Mencken led the protest against censorship of Theodore Dreiser's The Genius. After complaints that the book was riddled with lewdness, profanity, and blasphemy, the publisher withdrew all copies. In a statement foreshadowing his own censorship charges ten years later, Mencken writes: "Whatever Dreiser's faults may be, he is at least an earnest and honest man, and the attack upon him is so dubious in origin and so extravagant in its terms that his case becomes the case of all of us. If you are opposed to a Comstockery which boasts that it has no regard whatever for artistic purpose and value... I take it you will want to sign."
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA