You know, I'm wondering how Turtledove chose him to be POV. Think he just wanted to write for a well-known literati wit? Turtle Fan 12:54, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I think two reasons. First, Mencken is the sort of cynical crotchety character HT likes to write about.
That was my thought. Turtle Fan 04:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Second reason goes to the theme of the story. Mencken believed in the idea that great people achieve greatness because they are great. This is reflected in his response to Gray's "Elegy" (Miltons became Miltons, and don't fade into anonymity). Turtledove pretty obviously disagrees with this assessment, and so contrasts Mencken's beliefs with a story about Ruth never achieving greatness, while reminding everyone that so much of Ruth's success had as much to do with happenstance as it did with his natural talent. TR 00:13, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense. Turtle Fan 04:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
He wasn't a Republican, BTW. TR 00:23, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe not registered, but in the story he kept coming back to how much he hated FDR, and he was attacking him from the right. Having voted for Willkie and Landon before him was an important piece of characterization. Not sure whether that meshes with the historical Mencken, of whom I know little, but it featured in the story. Turtle Fan 04:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
No, he was a libertarian in OTL, and hated both parties pretty much equally. He wasn't so much pro-Landon and pro-Willkie as anti-New Deal. TR 14:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
If you say so. Mencken is not someone I know anything much about. I see "I hate FDR!" and no evidence that he's a Communist or someone attacking him from the left, and I assumed. Turtle Fan 18:04, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Anyone ever figure out why Mencken felt the need to write such a harsh barrage against Gray generations later, when neither Gray nor his "Elegy" were particularly well known? Turtle Fan 04:34, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

It was just Mencken's worldview. Even a nearly forgotten poem that proposed the "absurd" idea that great people don't always achieve greatness needed an answer. TR 15:54, April 14, 2010 (UTC)
Sounds a bit . . . overzealous. A little Donutesque, actually. Turtle Fan 16:58, April 14, 2010 (UTC)
Just a bit. TR 17:38, April 14, 2010 (UTC)


Mencken's in Worldwar, after a fashion. In the Col books somebody--I want to say Drucker--thinks of a quote about how no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, and tries to remember who said it. It was Mencken who said it, as I just learned while trying in vain to track down the quote about the '94 Orioles. I'll look for the quote in Amazon later and add the section.

Under the latest-POD-first rule, I suppose the Worldwar section would have to precede the HTGB one. It seems a shame to lead off with a one-liner about how he wasn't even named, just dimly hinted at, while the story which he narrates gets shunted to the back. But standardization must be consistent. Turtle Fan 14:25, July 15, 2010 (UTC)


This must have been missed. TWTCE and JS are just his quote and other OTL stuff about him. THTGB can stay because he's the POV.JonathanMarkoff (talk) 11:00, September 19, 2016 (UTC)

Huh, I thought we'd already edited this one. TR (talk) 15:03, September 19, 2016 (UTC)
Bump.JonathanMarkoff (talk) 20:22, August 23, 2017 (UTC)

List of quotes[]

HLM's lit refs are basically a list of quotes. It might be advisable to move them to his main page as a lit comm: "The following popular Mencken quotes are often referenced in Turtledove's work...."Matthew Babe Stevenson (talk) 06:31, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

That is consistent with what we've done with one or two others.TR (talk) 14:58, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I have no strong feelings on the matter. I'll defer to TR. Turtle Fan (talk) 02:58, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
So, since we're short-adminned, does that mean all systems go?Matthew Babe Stevenson (talk) 05:38, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm not sure he'd be interested. He seems to do his own thing here without much interest in setting or enforcing policy. Turtle Fan (talk) 15:33, 8 April 2021 (UTC)