How many times, and during a period of how many years must one’s unexplainable obscurity be pointed out to constitute fame? Not knowing, I am almost disposed to consider myself the most famous of authors. I have pretty nearly ceased to be “discovered,” but my notoriety as an obscurian may be said to be worldwide and everlasting.
—Ambrose Bierce. I cannot resist quoting the following as well:
[Bierce’s] witticisms, which were of a very high order, reappear sometimes, too. His best aphorisms in The Devil’s Dictionary are easily a match for La Rochefoucauld, maybe even Voltaire. His most reprinted book review consists of a single sentence: “The covers of this book are too far apart.” When a young mother pestered him for advice on bringing up children, he finally replied: “Study Herod, madam. Study Herod.” Democracy he defined as “four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” At the death of a local politician, Bierce volunteered the epitaph: “Here lies Frank Pixley, as usual.” Disdainful of philosophical pretension, he rewrote Descartes’s axiom as “Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum”: “I think I think, therefore I think I am.”
I very much need to get this book.