Cogito ergo cogito sum:
I think; therefore,
I think I am.
The Ambrose Bierce Site invites original short fiction, articles, essays, poetry, art related to the mind and myth of Ambrose Bierce.
...about Bierce HERE
by Don Swaim
Deliverance of Sinners
Essays & Sundry on Ambrose Bierce
Return to Carcosa
21st Century Road Trip
World's Funniest Humanist
Ambrose Bierce and
The Little Johnny Stories
The First Bierce Scholar
Poet of the Skies,
Prophet of the Sun
Bierce, Hearst, Sterling
Ambrose Bierce &
the Little Blue Books
Stephen Vincent Benét, Ambrose Bierce, and Me
The Blasphemer Robert G. Ingersoll
Why He Mattered to Bierce
Ambrose & Henry
H.L Mencken's debt to Bierce
Edwin Markham: The Man Who Irked Bierce
(and wrote about zombies)
Ambrose Bierce Alley
Bierce Assails Politicos
Ambrose Bierce on the
on the Trump election
Bierce on Terrorism
Bierce on the Notion of God
A Bierce Glossary of Religious Terms
Bierce vs Jack London
Bierce & Pancho Villa
The Wickedest Man in
Love and Kisses:
Bierce & Oscar Wilde
Bierce Duels with
The Pseudonyms of Ambrose Bierce
Marfa Lights Mystery Solved
Let There Be Light: kaleidoscopes
Ambrose & Gertrude
Bierce vs. Gertrude Atherton
Don Swaim's exhaustive interview with S.T. Joshi, world's leading authority on Lovecraft, Bierce, sci-fi, horror, and weird fiction in general: READ
Jack Matthews &
Don Swaim Debate
WOUB Ohio University
ORIGINAL BIERCE ART
FOUR BIERCE OPERAS:
Rodney Waschka II
Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Difficulty of Crossing a Field
Gregory Peck as Bierce
(In Old Gringo)
Bierce's First Love
Article by Cary McWilliams 1932
Sleep as Trauma
Bierce's Civil War Head Wound
Article by Kyle Keeler
Bierce & People's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos
Podcast by DB Spitzer
The Last Dream
(For Ambrose Bierce)
Poetry by Leigh Blackmore
Occurrence at Ojinaga
Fiction by Ron Hefner
And As to Drink
Fiction by K. A. di'Gaetano
My Hunt for Ambrose Bierce
by Leon Day
Bierce is Buried Here
by James Leinert
Ohio Honors Native Son
by Don Swaim
Rob Holmes as Bierce
Finding Bierce's Ohio's Birthplace
by Margaret Parker
Bierce Meets Billy the Kid
Fiction by Wayne MacDonald
Ambrose Bierce and the Joy of Outrage
Essay by Jack Matthews
The Poetry of Ambrose Bierce
Essay by Jack Matthews
Almighty God Bierce
Two-act play by Ed Scutt<>
The Last Stand
of Ambrose Bierce
Two-act play by Rob Foster
FOR THE AHKOOND
Science-fiction by Ambrose Bierce
BIERCE JOURNALISM ARCHIVE
Archives of American
Includes first book,
A Fiend's Delight (1872)
by Helen Bierce
Reviewed by H.L. Mencken, American Mercury
Bierce Magazine Covers
|The old Bierce message board from Bravenet, with its annoying ads, dating back to 2001 has been replaced by the Bierce Facebook Group. If you have questions or comments about Bierce, simply join us at Facebook. Just click to join. The old message board remains up as an archive only.
SOME OF DON'S
WCBS Appreciation Site
Book Beat: The Podcast
Aspinwall High School
Ambrose Bierce Site
Bucks Writers Workshop Errata
Steinbeck in Bucks Co
Growing Up in WW II
My Houses: Where I've Been
Fighting the Hun in WW I
Stuart Cummings Ripley Site
Swaim Name in History
The Swaim in America
BEST OF THE INTERNET
Wired for Books.
Nov. 20, 2007
PEARL S. BUCK FICTION AWARD|
Don Swaim, founder of the Ambrose Bierce Site, won first prize for his short story, "Dearest Friend, Annie," which focuses on the relationship between Walt Whitman and Anne Gilchrist.
Pearl Buck, author of The Good Earth, won the Nobel Prize for literature, and her Pennsylvania, home is a National Historic Landmark.
Pearl S. Buck International
Aug 27, 2023
Camels and Christians accept their burdens kneeling. —Ambrose Bierce
Bierce as adapted from the artist Sanjin Masic of Sarajevo.
| THE SCHULTZ INTERVIEW|
Ambrose Bierce: Moments of Fire!
S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz
With word that David E. Schultz and his literary partner S.T. Joshi had published the twelfth volume of Bierce's Collected Essays and Journalism, I cornered Schultz to find out about the scholarship involved.
I pose the questions, Schultz the answers. HERE
Volume 13, 1883, available at AMAZON
| WHO WAS DONN PIATT AND WHY DID BIERCE CARE ABOUT HIM?|
The eleventh edition of Ambrose Bierce Collected Essays and Journalism, Volume 11: 1881, edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi includes a savage epitaph dedicated to Piatt (who was still alive). Piatt, now mostly forgotten, fought in the Civil War, became a politician, wrote books, and published a newspaper, all of which captured Bierce's attention. Read about Piatt HERE
Joshi and Schultz are the world's leading scholars on Ambrose Bierce. Over the years there may be as many as 50 volumes. It's a work of monumental scholarship. Vol. 11 available at AMAZON
| FORTHCOMING FROM|
Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi. Dan Sauer's striking cover design incorporates illustrations for Sterling's best-known poem "A Wine of Wizardry" in an issue of Cosmopolitan in 1907. The poem, which Bierce received in 1904, had been rejected by the Atlantic, Harpers, Scribners, Century, and the Metropolitan before Bierce finally placed it in the Hearst-owned journal in which Bierce had a column.
HE NEVER F-ING SAID IT!
War is Gods way of teaching Americans geography.
The covers of this book are too far apart.
The geography quote attributed to Ambrose Bierce has been knocking around the Internet for years. [Google shows 159,000 entries for it.] Ive never found the origin for War is Gods way of teaching Americans geography, nor has David E. Schultz, who along with S.T. Joshi, has created a voluminous database of Bierces works. Schultz told The Ambrose Bierce Site: Ive looked high and low through my electronic archive of Bierces writings (c. 4.5 million words) and have never come across this. Ive found numerous attributions to Bierce on the Web, but believe that Paul Rodriguez [Mexican-born stand-up comedian] is probably the originator. Its one of those quotes that sounds like Bierce but isnt.
Nor do I believe Bierce ever said, "The covers of this book are too far apart." If he did, I've never found the source, nor the name of the book to which he allegedly referred. The line is often repeated as though it's a given that Bierce authored that devastating put-down, but even if he didn't it's almost too good a line not to award it to him.
That said, I found an excellent site called QUOTE INVESTIGATOR that goes into super detail about Bierce's alleged book covers quote. Essentially, it says, the quote is second-hand by the humorist Irvin S. Cobb in 1923 — long after Bierce's death. Many others picked it up. This is the best debunking I've seen of the Bierce quote, which has also been attributed to Mark Twain and, yes, even to Jack Benny. —DS
Deliverance of Sinners provides a comprehensive, engaging, and often humorous look at a truly titanic figure in American letters, and Ive been happy to pore through it again and again.
—William J. Donahue, editor Philadelphia/Suburban Life magazines.
Swaim is a remarkable researcher, storyteller, literary artiste, and pontificator here. —Chris Bauer, author of 2 Street
REVIEW BY GREYDOGTALES
| FROM CENTIPEDE PRESS|
Ambrose Bierce: The Centipede Press Library of Weird Fiction. This huge new hardcover edition of Bierce's weird fiction, 727 pages, edited by S.T. Joshi, includes most of Bierce's familiar fiction, but many of his lesser known stories as well. Much of his Civil War writing is included because, Joshi says, "...it can be said that the Civil War tales embody some of Bierce's most chilling moments of psychological terror."
AVAILABLE HERE .
BIERCE FICTION IN DEFINITIVE EDITION|
Volume 1: Tales of Psychological and Supernatural Horror
Volume 2: Tales of the Civil War and Tales of the Grotesque
Volume 3: Tall Tales and Satirical Sketches; Political Fantasies and
From Hippocampus Press
| WORLD'S FUNNIEST HUMANIST|
Drawing of Ambrose Bierce by David Levine used with permission.
© Matthew & Eve Levine 2012. Limited edition prints and licensing opportunities
available through D. Levine Ink
Ambrose Bierce may not have used the term humanism back in his day—but we can now safely say he was the funniest humanist of all. My essay on Bierce and humanism: Read HERE
EXCLUSIVE TO THE AMBROSE BIERCE SITE!|
HOW AMBROSE BIERCE DISAPPEARED (MAYBE)
June 24, 1842 to ?
by Leon Day
Once upon a time, there was a brave soldier. His specialty was going in front of the Union armies with small units and making maps and sketches of the tricky spots on the proposed route, under fire. But he is not famous for this.
Then he went West, exploring, and made the first maps of the Black Hills that were useful. He taught himself to write by reading the classics at a boring job at the San Francisco Mint, and broke into newspaper work. He became the top columnist in San Francisco in a time when the writer stood behind his work with a gun, not a lawyer. He married rich, went to England, learned a lot from the writers there, and taught some tricks himself. But this is just a footnote.
And he was funny politically, too, always opposed to demagogy and privilege alike, showing no faith that the common man could command politics, or the rich man transcend his greed. Split the difference between George Orwell and Herbert Spencer and you might approach the ideas of this writer who reached millions through the Hearst press. But this interests very few.
He wrote the first Civil War fiction that included the terror and put the glory in its place. It was so good that a whole generation of professional officers became abject fans. And every time the press fomented a war fever, he wrote on military subjects with a stark clarity that never forgot that the final result would be flowing blood and shattered bone. But this is poorly remembered.
He wrote fine poetry, often to a deadline, and trained a generation of poets -- became a sort of literary cult leader. But this is a matter for English professors.
Thus, Ambrose Bierce is best remembered today because nobody knows what happened to him. He went into the whirlpool of the Mexican Revolution in December 1913, and never popped up. He was good at writing spooky stories, and four or five have been hitched to his star.
San Francisco Bulletin, March 24, 1920
About Leon Day
This amateur historian sought to locate Bierce's remains in the Mexican desert -- and published his findings on The Ambrose Bierce Site. Unfortunately, he came up short. The colorful, eccentric Day -- whose coffee cup was often filled with more than coffee -- died in 2011 without proving his theory.
His obituary in the Austin, Texas, Statesman HERE
Read Day's well thought-out, six-part exposition on Bierce's disappearance HERE
| The Many Deaths of Ambrose Bierce|
Forrest Gander in The Paris Review of Oct. 17, 2014, writes of the innumerable theories about Bierce's mysterious death. "According to witnesses, Bierce died over and over again, all over Mexico..." Read HERE
Ambrose Bierce and the David Lang HoaxIn 1880, an Alabama farmer mysteriously disappears -- allegedly in full view of his family and neighbors. Was it a hoax? Did Ambrose Bierce base his famous story "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" on the tale of the vanishing farmer? Read: HERE
Unintended whimsy by CHARLES FORT: HERE
The Oxoxoco Bottle
Author Gerald Kersh came up with a yarn in the 1950s about Bierce being fattened up by cannibals in Mexico. It appeared in Kersh's story collection Men Without Bones and was republished in The Saturday Evening Post. Details HERE [scroll down] .
Nuggets and Dust by "Dod Grile," Ambrose Bierce's second book, was published under his pseudonym by Chatto and Windus in London in 1871, when Bierce was an expatriate. Its subtitle is "Panned Out in California," loosely arranged by "J. Milton Sloluck," another of Bierce's pseudonyms. It was a cheap paperback showing on the cover a miner panning gold and holding a knife. In this first and only edition (until now) there were ads on the back cover for Crosby's Balsamic Cough Elixir and Dr. Rooke's Oriental Pills and Solar Elixir, plus several pages of ads at the front.
Essentially, the book reprinted bits and pieces from Bierce's "Town Crier" columns in the San Francisco News-Letter as well as more current jottings. It was neither physically nor literarily a handsome product, and Bierce never republished it. The contents might be described as amusing trifles. It's now a rarity for Bierce collectors. A recent Internet search located only two copies for sale, both at high prices and in poor condition. in 2017, Didcot House, which appears to be based in the U.K., came out with a paperback edition using Amazon's Create Space.
Now, a firm called Reink Books of Delhi, India, is offering a paperback edition for $15.07 with no overseas shipping fee. Strangely, the Reink edition, distributed by S N Books World, identifies the author nowhere in the book, merely a plain cover with the title and an ID number. The book is said to have been reprinted from the original edition, and appears to be a facsimile, evidence of what this rare Bierce item actually looked like when the pages were opened.
From the aforementioned, below is a sample of Ambrose Bierce's tongue-in-cheek cynicism and misanthropy in a section titled "Man in Quantity" in which he takes to task all mankind:
It is impossible for one to look at him without a lively disgust, similar to that inspired by the spectacle of a tangled web of rattlesnakes thawing and reeking in the spring sunlight. A single individual of the species is intolerable, but put a score of them into close contact, and straightway they shall begin to enact you so varied and multifold unpleasantness -- so distracting and displeasing pranks -- a myriad of so fathomless abominations, that one would fain be a dog, if that dog only were any better or worse -- which they are not.
We never look upon man without thinking of that horrid -- perhaps fabled -- animal that is clean-limbed, and sweet, and gracious, and comely, but which no sooner touches one of its kind than it begins to expire a noxious odor.... Immortal, are you, yahoo? Godlike? In the image of your Maker? And yet you thieve, you beat wives, and you die in all manner of unseemly ways!
You give lectures and give birth; you have collisions, and fires, and divine service, and the small-pox. Talk not to us, monster, of your godlike attributes; we know you for a most pestilent and forbidding beast requiring the constant purification of water, and oft-renewed anointing with perfumes.
Composite illustration by K.A. Silva. Don Swaim meets Ambrose Bierce in the library of William Randolph Hearst's Castle, San Simeon, California. click to enlarge