Ambrose Bierce News
the AMBROSE BIERCE site
Ambrose Bierce IN THE NEWS
To contribute Bierce news
please email Don Swaim_______________________________________
MASTERS OF THE WEIRD TALE
New Ambrose Bierce Collection
Centipede Press, which publishes limited editions of horror and suspense, has produced a 560-page book including 100 of Bierce's best supernatural and Civil War stories. Introduction by S.T. Joshi and illustrated by Jason C. Eckhart with twenty-four black and white drawings. Issued in a limited edition of 200 copies signed by Joshi and Eckhardt. List price $195. Info HERE.____________
BIERCE WAR STORIES IN TENNESSEE
Theatrical Performance by the Roxy Regional Theater
Civil War Stories, based on the writing of Ambrose Bierce, is an original production of the Roxy Regional Theater in Clarksville, Tennessee, running from March 29-April 6, 2013. Adapted and directed by John McDonald, with original music composed by Colin Ryan. The performance marked the third production in the Roxy's four-part series commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. More information HERE.____________
AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGEWith original text, art, analysis, and annotations. Part of The Literature of the Civil War Project of Middletown High School, Middletown, Delaware. Proves that excellence is not solely the domain of scholars and academics. Read HERE.
New Online Presentation____________
COMPLETE WORKS OF AMBROSE BIERCEDelphi Classics, which produces digital versions of books in the public domain, has released an illustrated compendium of both major and obscure work by Ambrose Bierce, along with letters, criticism, and Carey McWilliams' classic 1929 biography, which has never been improved upon. This massive digital book, at 4,228 pages, is available in Kindle and ePub formats directly from the Delphi Store or from Amazon.com. Delphi is offering it at $1.49, Amazon at $1.99. The Delphi site is HERE
Monumental ebook published by Delphi
The Delphi book is searchable, but you still won't find references to epigrams mistakenly attributed to Bierce such as, "The covers of this book are too far apart." or "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."____________
AMBROSE BIERCE AT SHILOHBierce fought in the great Civil War battle on April 6-7, 1862, and wrote about it in his famous essay "What I Saw at Shiloh." David Kuroski visited the former battleground in April 2012 and produced this homage: YouTube
YouTube Video by David Kuroski
LEON DAY DIES
The amateur historian sought to locate Bierce's remains in the Mexican desert -- and published his findings on The Ambrose Bierce Site. The colorful, eccentric Day, a resident of Austin, Texas, died in October 2011, but his death was not known by The Ambrose Bierce Site until August of this year. He was sixty-seven.
Read his obituary in the Austin Statesman HERE
Read his six-part article on Bierce's disappearance HERE____________
BIERCE TALE STAGED BY
THE NASHVILLE OPERA
Ambrose Bierce's The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, turned into an opera by David Lang, is one of four operas staged by the Nashville Opera during its 2012-13 season. Brad Schmitt writes about it in The Tennessean
ONE-HOUR SAN FRANCISCO RADIO SHOW FOCUSES ON AMBROSE BIERCE
S.T. Joshi, editor of The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, & Memoirs Cathy Davidson, professor at Duke University and a Bierce scholar. Felix Justice, actor playing Ambrose Bierce, re-imagined as a contemporary black man in the one-man show, "The Miraculous Return Of Ambrose Bierce" Bart Schneider, publisher at Kelly's Cove Press and playwright of "The Miraculous Return Of Ambrose Bierce" to listen to broadcast of Nov. 29, 2011 click HERE ____________
TO THE DEVIL:
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY AT 100
When wire service writers or newspaper editors need a pungent epigram for a "thought for the day" column, they inevitably turn to Ambrose Bierce's classic Devil's Dictionary, which, under that title, turned 100 in 2011. Writer, composer, and multimedia artist Stefany Anne Golberg has noted the occasion with a super study for Drexel University's Smart Set Magazine. Read it: HERE
LIBRARY OF AMERICA PUBLISHES NEW BIERCE TITLEThis compact, well-designed 880-page ominbus, Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionery, Tales, & Memoirs, contains Bierce's most familiar and popular work. Edited with a chronology and notes by S.T. Joshi, who has become the leading purveyer of Bierce material. A welcome addition to the array of books by and about Bierce -- and particularly helpful to those discovering Bierce for the first time. List price $35. Available here: Library of America.
Insightful analysis of Bierce by Benjamin Schwartz in The Atlantic, September 2011: HERE
Interview with S.T. Joshi: HERE
Unluckily for those who would like to simplify the publication history of The Devil's Dictionary to coincide with the recent Library of America edition, 2011 is not the 100th anniversary of the book. It is the 105th. Retitled as The Devil's Dictionary, it was originally published as The Cynic's Word Book in October 1906 by Doubleday Page and Company. This edition included about half of the definitions found in subsequent editions. The Cynic's Word Book was republished in expanded form and retitled as "The Devil's Dictionary" in Volume VII of Bierce's Collected Works in June 1911 by Walter Neale. In order to acquire Volume VII containing "The Devil's Dictionary," readers had to purchase the entire set of twelve volumes. The Collected Works were published between February 1909 and December 1912. So the simplified explanation is: The Cynic's Word Book was expanded and retitled The Devil's Dictionary as Volume VII of Bierce's Collected Works in June 1911.--D.S.____________
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE AMBROSE BIERCE APPRECIATION SOCIETY?
The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society was, as far as I can tell, the first Bierce site on the Internet: 1994. It is now moribund, yet, incredibly, still scores high in Google's Bierce rankings -- although it has not been updated for many years, and is in most respects obsolete. Apparently, its last update was in 2005 or early 2006.
In May, 2010, I sought out the once enthusiastic founder of the Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society, "Damone," the pseudonym of Michael N. Rusignulogo. Michael apparently attended Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, and his last known address was on West 20th Street, New York City. He once hosted a website dedicated to Conan O'Brien [a TV talk show host]. After many attempts, I finally reached Mr. Rusignulogo (Damone) by email and, while he was not particularly forthcoming, here is his reply:Don, I apologise for not writing back sooner. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but I suppose the short version is that "life got in the way." Things changed, priorities shifted, tragedies occurred, etc. etc. I certainly still have all my Bierce materials and still add the odd bits and pieces here and there, but a few years ago, certain events occurred that prevented me from devoting too much time to the hobby, and the longer I spent away, the more time it would take to catch up, and it all began to snowball.A pity that "life got into the way." Mr. Rusignulogo's Bierce site was, in fact, a prototype for The Ambrose Bierce Site (1996), although it went into a different direction by focusing on original material.
It all still sits as an item "to do," but at this point, the Web technologies I used are so obsolete as to require a complete rebuild of the site to make it more database driven so as to make updates easier and the like. And the time is more precious now than then. I still hope to find a stretch of time to devote to the project, but things continue to come up. It seems the way of things.
I certainly apologise if I was unresponsive on an invitation at some point in the past. It was surely not my intension to do so, and I beg ignorance in the subsequent passage of time.
I hope this finds you well, and I hope that you have been more successful in finding the time to update your own Web effort better than I have.
'AMBROSE & HENRY' IN...
A definitive account of the relationship between Ambrose Bierce and his intellectual heir, H.L. Mencken. The article, by Don Swaim, fills the entire issue of Menckeniana, a scholarly on-line quarterly, dedicated to H. L. Mencken. It is available by subscription. Go to: Menckeniana. Membership in the H.L. Mencken Society includes a free subscription. Go to: Mencken Society
Online version: HERE____________
BIERCE SITE EDITOR WINS PEARL S.
BUCK INTERNATIONAL FICTION AWARD
Don Swaim, founder of the Ambrose Bierce Site, won the top prize for his short story, "Dearest Friend, Annie," which focuses on the relationship between Walt Whitman and Anne Gilchrist. Three others placed in the youth division. Swaim [above] is shown accepting the award under a portrait of Pearl S. Buck at the historic Buck house on April 10, 2011. 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
EDWIN MARKHAM:Perhaps the poet Markham, who wrote "The Man with the Hoe," didn't really write about zombies, but he did drive Bierce up the wall. Newly posted essay by Don Swaim. Read HERE.
THE MAN WHO IRKED BIERCE
(and wrote about zombies)____________
BACK IN PRINT!
Don Swaim's H.L. Mencken Murder Case, originally published by St. Martin's Press, returns to print as a trade paperback through the Authors Guild Backinprint program. Available at amazon.com. $12.95. Swaim is founder of the Ambrose Bierce Site. "...there's a dusty-attic charm to Mr. Swaim's fond evocation of bookshops past, and he couldn't have enticed a livelier ghost than Mencken to haunt them." --The New York Times Sunday Book Review
IN THE BIERCE TRADITION
Satirical and literary, Bright Sun Extinguished: Ode to Norman Mailer is an original pastiche of dark fantasy and horror. The free software to read it can easily be downloaded to Macs, PCs, iPads, Kindles, or any digital device from amazon.com. $5.99. Swaim is founder of the Ambrose Bierce Site. A literary gem filled with subtleties re pop culture and events leading up to and beyond a literary apocalypse. -- C.G. Bauer
"OLD GRINGO" NOW AVAILABLE FROM iTUNES MOVIE STORE
In the 2002 film, Jane Fonda plays a frustrated spinster who flees her unrewarding life in America hoping to discover the passion in her soul. Gregory Peck is Ambrose Bierce, the Old Gringo, a retired journalist and adventurer who wanders the hostile desert seeking meaning to the last years of his life. Jimmy Smits is Pancho Villa's fiery young general, driven by both the Revolution and his desire for Fonda. Set in the spectacle of the Mexican Revolution, their lives are violently drawn together. Based on the Carlos Fuentes novel. Go to: Apple iTunes.____________
BIERCED by VICTOR LAVALLEIn an essay in The Nation, Victor LaValle writes that, "Bierce often resorted to horror, whether grisly war stories or even supernatural tales, but he didn't do this to avoid writing about reality; he used the genre to confront the truths of his day--the monstrosity of battle, the terror of extinction." Read the complete article HERE.____________
JOHNNY DEPP'S BIERCE MUSIC VIDEO
TV stations and some websites have banned the video, based on Bierce's psychological masterpiece "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," because of its graphic and violent ending. Actor Johnny Depp directed the music video, "Unloveable," sung by Stephen Jones, lead singer of the British rock band Babybird. The video was shot in Herts, England, and marks Depp's directorial debut.____________
PHOTOS OF BIERCE STAGING
IN CHICAGO POSTED ON LINE
Above, Rob Holmes portrays Bierce in the Lincoln Square Theatre of Chicago production of Ambrose Bierce: Tales and Times, selected works adapted for the stage. Oct. 22 through Nov. 22, 2009. Scenes from the production are posted on The Ambrose Bierce Site. Click here.____________
BIERCE MAKES TIME'S TOP TEN LIST OF FAMOUS MISSING PERSONS
In making the list, Bierce joins such famous figures as Anastasia Romanov, Amelia Earhart, D.B. Cooper, Jimmy Hoffa, and Virginia Dare. For the story go to: Time Magazine.____________
NEW HEARST BIO CITES BIERCE
Canadian editor and writer Kenneth White traces the sensational rise of William Randolph Hearst in The Uncrowned King (Counterpoint, January 2009). Ambrose Bierce was surprised to learn that Hearst had kept on staff a man who was stealing money from the Examiner. "I have a new understanding with him," he told Bierce. "He is to steal only small sums hereafter; the largest are to come to me." For an excerpt go to: nationalpost.com.
A youthful Hearst____________
THE CEMETERY BIERCE MIGHT HAVE BEEN BURIED IN (BUT WASN'T)
St. Helena Cemetery in California was Bierce's designated resting place. For nearly forty years three women have served as the cemetery's unofficial record keepers. Go to: The Weekly Calistogan.____________
"THE GREATEST LIAR THIS COUNTRY EVER PRODUCED"
No, not Ambrose Bierce, but his on and off friend, the long-forgotten poet Joaquin Miller. Arthur Hart writes about this colorful but failed poet in the IdahoStatesman.com.
AMBROSE BIERCE, JUNE 24, 1842 TO 1913?
The original cartoon (above) was drawn by J.H.E. Partington, the same artist whose portrait of Bierce is in the Library of Congress. Partington was satirizing himself. His portrait also shows Bierce with a skull.____________
THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT
May 2, 2008. Decent opinion piece about Bierce by Anne Millbrooke, a writer who lives in Bozeman, Montana. Go to the West Yellowstone News.____________
AMBROSE BIERCE PROJECT
A new issue of the ABP Journal, "Ambrose Bierce's Civil War: Historians Respond," (March 2008). features original essays and reprints by eminent historians of the Civil War period. In addition, there's an interview with historian Carol Reardon (Penn State University) on Civil War literature and popular memory. Other features include three book reviews and Bjorn Skaptason's downloadable, themed trail guide to the Shiloh battlefield: "What I Saw of Shiloh: In the Footsteps of Ambrose Bierce." Go to: ABP Project
"BIERCE SONGS" SUNG
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, presented a guest performance by singer Jacob Will, bass and baritone on Oct. 25, 2007, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Accompanied by pianist Lynn Kompass, Will's program included a humorous cycle of new songs. The collection, based on definitions from "The Devil's Dictionary," paired the satire of Ambrose Bierce's original compilation with the musical talents of writer Samuel Douglas to create a bold and comical new arrangement. Douglas, composer of "Bierce Songs, Definitions from the Devil's Dictionary," is a faculty member at the University of South Carolina. Each of the thirteen movements is titled with a different word, such as "abscond," "faith" and "ideology."
FILM ADAPTATION OF BIERCE'S
"HORSEMAN IN THE SKY"
Posted by Mauriel Joslyn 9/25/07: "I wrote an adaptation of this story and it is now in production with Four Roses Productions. We are currently filming in Georgia. It stars Andrew Masset and Brian Beegle. We hope to have it completed and out next year at film festivals. Length is probably going to be about 20 min."
'ESSENTIAL BIERCE' FROM HEYDAY BOOKS
Essential Bierce, a selection of Ambrose Bierce's best writings, edited with an introduction by John R. Dunlap, is now available from Heyday Books. Trade Paper, $11.95. 240 pages. Heyday is a nonprofit organization specializing in books that foster an understanding of the history, literature, art, environment, social issues and culture of California and the West. May 2007. go to: Heyday Books.
VISUAL ARTIST ADOPTS BIERCE MOTIF
Stephen G. Rhodes applies sculpture, photographs, drawings, and a double-screen video based on "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Go to The New York Times. Rhodes' bio and more images here
click to enlarge
BIERCE'S "THE DAMNED THING" PREMIERS ON SHOWTIME
Based on a Bierce short story, the nearly one-hour film, was directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) as part of the cable channel's "Masters of Horror" series. (Episode 201, second season, Oct. 27, 2006, 10:00 PM ET.) Sean Patrick Flanery is the sheriff of a small Texas town who must overcome his tragic past when an evil force turns citizens against each other. Costarring Marisa Coughlin and Ted Raim. David Bianculli of the New York Daily News is less than impressed. For more info go to: Masters of Horror Site.
FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT: AMBROSE BIERCE
DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW, a Boston-based online literary magazine, queries Ambrose Bierce Site webmaster Don Swaim about the life and disappearance of the legendary curmudgeon. Go to: DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW.
THE SHORT FICTION OF AMBROSE BIERCE
Of course, all the fiction of Ambrose Bierce was short with the exception of a novella, The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter. Editors S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz have compiled "a comprehensive edition" of Bierce's stories in a $129 hardcover edition. It is also available in three less expensive volumes. The editors say their effort goes beyond that of Bierce's own Collected Works and includes all known and rediscovered short fiction by Bierce. Pub date Sep. 15, 2006. For more info go to: University of Tennessee Press.
THE DEVIL'S TOPOGRAPHER
How Ambrose Bierce's role in the Civil War influenced his fiction is examined by David M. Owens, author of The Devil's Topographer: Ambrose Bierce and the American War Story, published July 2006. While Bierce was a legitimate hero in the war, he was also topographical officer for General William M. Hazen, hence the title. Owens, professor of English at Valparaiso University in Indiana, looks at Bierce's war stories chronologically, thus following Bierce's own progress through the war. For more info go to: University of Tennessee Press.
CONTENT ADDED TO
"AMBROSE BIERCE PROJECT "
From ABP site editor Craig Warren: Over the summer, we added the full text to two short story collections by Bierce, as well as the text for about 75 individual stories. We also joined NINES, a federation of nine humanities computing projects. The ABP is now searchable by using the NINES collex: http://www.nines.org/collex/ We have also been preparing the fall 2006 issue of the ABP Journal, due out in December. This issue will feature more original works of literary criticism, as well as several book reviews. One reviewed book will be David M. Owens's new work, "The Devil's Topographer: Ambrose Bierce and the American War Story." With luck, we will also review the forthcoming, three-volume edition of Bierce's collected short fiction. (That extensive work is edited by Berkove, Joshi, and Schultz; it will be published by the University of Tennessee Press). Future projects will include the addition of Robert C. Evans's annotated edition of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which he has been generous enough to contribute. Go to: Ambrose Bierce Project.
BIERCE TALE SLATED FOR SHOWTIME CABLE
A partial lineup of directors has been announced for the second season of "Masters of Horror," the anthology series produced by IDT Entertainment in association with Industry Entertainment and Nice Guy Productions. Thirteen new one-hour films will debut this fall on Showtime. "The Damned Thing," directed by Tobe Hooper, inspired by Ambrose Bierce's classic short story and written by Richard Christian Matheson, is the apocalyptic tale of a monstrous force that devastates Sheriff Kevin Reddle's family and his small Texas town. Sean Patrick Flanery, Marisa Coughlan, and Ted Raimi star. More from: MoviesOnline.
BIERCE STORIES OFFERED ON WEB AS MP3 FILES
Actor Timothy Patrick Miller's "A Magical Reality Chautauqua Show" is recording Bierce stories in mp3 format. The first podcast, "Moxon's Master" is free. Miller says once he's established there will be a new Bierce title every two weeks. Go to: American Listeners' Theater.
BIERCE NEWSPAPER ARCHIVES GO TO UC LIBRARY
Bound copies of the San Francisco Examiner dating to 1888 are going to UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library. Ambrose Bierce was the Examiner's star columnist starting in 1887. Go to SFGate.com
BIERCE MAKES COVER OF CIVIL WAR TIMES
click to enlarge
The October 2005 issue features two pieces by Bierce, one fiction, the other non-fiction, plus an article on Bierce's Civil War years by Allen Guelzo. Go to Civil War Times
1874 INDIANA NEWSPAPER ARTICLE CITES BIERCE
A web site called Yesteryear in Print has posted a number of historical articles printed in the Northern Indianian newspaper of Kosciusko County, where Ambrose Biere was raised. One of the articles, written by editor Reuben Williams, cites Bierce's Civil War record, his work as a writer, and the fact that he's now living in London, England. The article, dated March 19, 1874, is titled "A Warsaw Boy in London."
Six days a week, Doug Pascover's Waking Ambrose site posts a definition from Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary" and follows it with a contemporary definition of Doug's own making. Doug has also posted the winners of a Devil's Dictionary Contest, in which contestants were asked for their own definitions of "Man."
AMBROSE BIERCE ON TERRORISM: HIS OWN WORDS
Interesting site with a dialogue among those debating what may have been Bierce's position (with a transcript of his words from the AB Site). One branded it "leftist pap." Another, " Leftist is about as far from Bierce's orientation as is possible." Decide for yourself. Go to: Free Republic. And for the original piece on Bierce on Terrorism, go to:Ambrose Bierce on Terrorism
ENTRIES FOR A DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
OF THE BUSH ERA
Ambrose Bierce described a politician as "an eel in the fundamental mud ..." So there's little doubt about what he'd say about the current occupant of the White House. Here's a wonderful article on Bush Administration-speak by Tom Engelhardt. Go to: ProgressiveTrail.Org
GEORGE STERLING: A LOST POET
Here's an essay by Dennis L. Siluk about a now forgotten poet championed by Ambrose Bierce, who once said, "The finest practitioner of the poetic arts in America is George Sterling, the greatest we have on this side of the Atlantic. If for no other work he'll be remembered for his poem 'A Wine of Wizardry.'" Bierce was wrong. "A Wine of Wizardry" is a godawful mess. Although, unlike Siluk, I'm no expert on the suicidal Sterling's work, from the little I've read it seems to be terribly stilted and passe. In fact, if I had written it, I might have been a suicide too -- Don Swaim. Go to: useless-knowledge.com.
BIERCE CITED IN ATTACK ON BIBLICAL LITERALISTS
"Falwell's Bare Assertion Fallacy & Same-Sex Marriage" by Lee Salisbury in Axis of Logic. Go to: axisof logic.com.
GRAPHIC BOOK OF BIERCE'S MOST SINISTER WORK A STANDOUT
Graphic Classics, a Wisconsin publisher, has issued Volume Six of a series of illustrated works by famous writers, this one by Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary and More Tales of War, Satire, & the Supernatural. The artwork is sensational, some of it beautiful, and all of it clever. By such artists as Gahan Wilson. At 144 pages it's only $9.95 and worth every penny. Go to: graphicclassics.com.
NEW BIERCE MUSICAL IN THE WORKS
The show Owl Creek has been in development in New York for two years, with book, music, and lyrics by Ben Cohn and Sean McDaniel. Go to: Playbill.
NEW EDITION OF BIERCE'S SELECTED LETTERS IS OUT -- BUT PRICEY
A Much Misunderstood Man, Selected Letters of Ambrose Bierce -- edited by S.T. Joshi and David Schultz, has been published by the Ohio State University Press. Unfortunately, this 328-page book lists for $74.95, far above the price the average reader would willingly pay for a book of this kind. A shame and self-destructive. Go to: Ohio State University Press.
ANNOTATED EDITION OF BIERCE'S
'AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE'
Nearly 100 students have contributed to this effort. From editor Bob Evans, professor of English, Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama: "I should emphasize that I will make no personal profit from this book; any royalties it earns are donated to support the library or scholarships at the university where I teach. I am simply interested in making sure that the book's existence comes to the attention of fellow lovers of Bierce." Go to: Locust Hill Press.
BIERCE'S SAN FRANCISCO MINT
NUGGETS OF THE MINT'S PAST
The Mint in San Francisco where Ambrose Bierce worked as a night watchman and where he wrote his fledgling stories is now deserted and a fortress under seige. Here's a wonderful account, with references to Bierce, by Lynn Ludlow in The San Francisco Chronicle.
BIERCE POETRY CRITIQUE
POSTED ON AB SITE
Bierce's poetry ranged from Victorian sentimental to abrasive doggerel, and is read today primarily for its sardonic wit. Scholar and novelist Jack Matthews analyses and critiques The Poetry of Ambrose Bierce.
ORIGINAL CIVIL WAR MAPS DRAWN BY AMBROSE BIECE ON DISPLAY IN ELKHART, INDIANA
Bierce, whose youth was spent in Indiana, was a topographical engineer during the Civil War. His maps as well as map-making tools are on display at The Elkhart County Historical Museum
AMBROSE AND GERTRUDE POSTED ON 'NET
Don Swaim's one-act play focuses on a confrontation between Ambrose Bierce and novelist Gertrude Atherton in Sunol Glen, California, in 1891, shortly after the death of Bierce's son in a murder-suicide. Go to: Ambrose and Gertrude
'LAST STAND OF AMBROSE BIERCE'
Rob Foster's two-act play, which takes place the night Ambrose Bierce disappears, was staged in Carmel, California, in March-April 2001. To read the play go to: The Last Stand of Ambrose Bierce
BIERCE INVOKED IN OP ED ON CORPORATE HYPOCRISY
"Finance," said Ambrose Bierce, "is the art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager." Kate Jennings, in a commentary, uses Bierce's words to show how corporate greed, now starting to taint the Bush White House, has eroded our values as well as our pocketbooks. Go to: The New York Times
ECHOES OF BIERCE MYSTERY
Convictions of two Indians charged with murdering an American reporter in the Mexican desert are reinstated. Read about this eerily reminiscent crime, in which Ambrose Bierce is cited -- in: The New York Times
BIERCE IN SPANISH TRANSLATION
"Escriois Desconocidos," a collection of Bierce's work has been editited and translated into Spanish by Sonia Santos Vila. Valladolid, Secretariado de Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial de la Universidad de Valladolid, 2002. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
AMBROSE BIERCE "PLACES" PAGE
Here are a number of photos of places connected to Bierce that still exist in California, including shots of a sorry little alley named for him in San Francisco, at The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society
AMBROSE BIERCE ON TOUR: THE CIVIL WAR TALES
Timothy Patrick Miller recreates Ambrose Bierce in live performances. Go to Allen's site for details and for a reproduction of Bierce's last interview while en route to Mexico (October 1913, New Orleans States): Timothy Patrick Allen
TWO BOOKS ABOUT BIERCE & THE CIVIL WAR
Shadows of Blue and Gray: The Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce edited by Brian Thomsen (Tor Books March 2002). -- From Publishers Weekly: "...Shadows of Blue & Gray: The Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce... collects 27 stories along with some memoirs and reportage by the journalist, writer, literary critic and former Union Army soldier.
Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: The Complete Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce edited by David J. Klooster & Russell Duncan (University of Massachusetts Press, Feb. 2002) . -- From the Publisher: This collection is organized chronologically, following Bierce's participation in a wide range of battles, from the early skirmishes in the West Virginia mountains to the bloodbaths at Shiloh and Chickamauga and his near fatal wounding at Kennesaw Mountain."
The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi (Univ. of Georgia, $19.95). A treasury of satirical delights ("cynical lexicography," the editors call it) from curmudgeon and moralist Bierce (1842-1914?).
AMBROSE BIERCE AND THE DEATH OF KINGS
(Viking, $22.95). In Oakley Hall's second novel featuring the celebrated journalist and author of The Devil's Dictionary, Bierce searches for a missing princess. Oakley Hall, who was born in 1920, is a Californian who has had a distinguished career as writer and teacher.
AMBROSE BIERCE AND THE QUEEN OF SPADES
Hall, Oakley. Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades. Nov. 1998. 321p. Univ. of California, $22.95 (0-520-21555-9).
From Booklist: "This is as much a historical novel as it is a mystery, and Hall's portrayal of Bierce, the woman-hating, crusading journalist, is flawless."
DIRECTOR ROBERT ENRICO DIES BBC News, Friday, 23 February, 2001
PARIS - Oscar-winning French film director Robert Enrico has died aged 69 after a long illness.
[Enrico died overnight in a clinic in Paris after a long battle with cancer, the Artmedia agency said.]
He worked with Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon and Lino Ventura at the height of French cinema in the 1960s and was best known for action and thriller movies.
He was born to Italian immigrant parents in the northern town of Lievin in 1931 and began his film career with a series of short films that brought him to international critical attention.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge won him the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival in 1962 and an Academy Award for best short film two years later.
Based on a story by American writer Ambrose Bierce, the black-and-white film portrayed the hallucinations of a man awaiting death in a hangman's noose.
The film caught the public's imagination in the US when it was shown on the Twilight Zone TV series.
He directed Les aventuriers (The Adventurers) in 1966 which starred Alain Delon, Boulevard du rhum (Rum Boulevard) with Brigitte Bardot and the British actor Bill Travers.
His 1976 Le vieux fusil (The Old Gun) starred Philippe Noiret and Romy Schneider and won him a best film Cesar, France's most prestigious movie award.
'AN AMBROSE BIERCE COMPANION'
by Robert L. Gale. Greenwood Press. Westport, Conn. 2001. 352 pages. ISBN 0-313-31130-7. GR1130. $95.00 (Reference Book)
An opening essay of An Ambrose Bierce Companion overviews Bierce's contribution to literature and journalism, and a chronology summarizes the most important events in his life. The bulk of the Companion comprises alphabetically arranged entries on Bierce's major works and characters and on historical persons and writers who figured prominently in his life and career. Thus the volume provides coverage of Bierce's contemporaries, many of whom he satirized in his scathing newspaper columns. Many of the entries list works for further reading, and the book closes with a selected, general bibliography. Because of Bierce's concern with so many issues of his day, the volume offers a valuable perspective on American culture during the time in which he lived.
ARCHIVE OF BIERCE LETTERS FETCHES $37,000 AT AUCTION
The thirteen letters, dated July 6, 1898, through September 29, 1913, were penned to Bierce's friend Silas Orrin Howes, editor of Bierce's 1909 essay collection, The Shadow on the Dial.
The winning bid on April 22, 2013, was more than double the estimate of between $10,000 to $15,000 made by the Doyle auction house in New York. The winning bidder has not been identified. The Bierce letters were the largest such trove to come to auction in the last twenty-five years.
Of particular interest is the last letter in which Bierce writes of his plans to go to Mexico via Texas: "...thence down to the Mexican border (perhaps at Laredo) seeking a chance to cross and be shot or hanged. For I hold to my project of going through Mexico on horseback -- an 'innocent by-stander' in the war. Adios -- God prosper you."
THE GREAT AMERICAN RAILROAD WAR
How Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris Took on the Notorious Central Pacific RailroadPublished by St. Martin's Press. Excellent excerpt from Drabelle's The Great American Railroad War HERE
by Dennis Drabelle
Review by Bill Marx in: The Columbia Journalism Review.
BIERCE PLAY NOW IN BOOK FORM
Robert Foster's The Last Stand of Ambrose Bierce was first performed in 2001 (and posted on the Ambrose Bierce Site HERE). The book, which includes the entire play, chapter notes, reviews, and a brief bio, is available at Amazon.com. It is also available as an ebook.
HEARST CORP AT 125
TRACES ITS SAN FRANCISCO ROOTS
In 1887, the youthful William Randolph Hearst hired Ambrose Bierce as his star columnist for The San Francisco Examiner, the beginning of the Hearst media empire. The story at SFGate.
A PERIOD OF HONORABLE STRIFE
A new book focusing on Ambrose Bierce's Civil War years is in the works for Potomac Books by Christopher Coleman, author of Dixie Spirits, Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War, and Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground. Coleman writes:
As with my previous books, researching and writing A Period of Honorable Strife (the working title) is very much a process of discovery. Of course, one starts out with it all mapped out; but there are always revelations along the way-that's part of the fun....
While my primary focus is on Bierce himself, my approach is to put his wartime career in context-of his membership in the Ninth Indiana, the Army of the Cumberland, as well as the general political climate leading up to, during and after the war. At times you need to pull the lens back a bit to get a broader view of your subject, as well as the occasional panorama....
As I get deeper into the primary sources, I keep uncovering more about the mechanics of Bierce's writings. ...I leave interpreting the inner meaning and symbolism to the English professors and they may have some fun spinning meaning from some of my discoveries. Certainly a lot of nonsense has been written about "Owl Creek."____________
AMBROSE BIERCE, THE ANTI-SANTA
by Rhoda Koenig
The author of The New Devil's Dictionary [see below], Koenig contrasts Bierce with Scrooge in an essay for The Los Angeles Times. Read it HERE.
THE NEW DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
A New Version of the Cynical Classic
By the British author and theater critic Rhoda Koenig, who has updated the Ambrose Bierce classic with fresh definitions for our times. Published by Lyons Press. A review by BlogCritics.org HERE.
DAVID LEVINE BIERCE PRINT
From The New York Review of Books
Levine (1926-2009) was famed for his caricatures in The New York Review of Books. His drawing of Ambrose Bierce [above] accompanied the article "Gone with the Wind" in the February 21, 1974, issue. The Review offers a 12" x 16" framed print of the Bierce sketch for $150 HEREDrawing of Ambrose Bierce © Matthew & Eve Levine 2012..
Limited edition prints and licensing opportunities available through D. Levine Ink____________
BIERCE IS (WAS) BACK!
recent one-man show in S.F.
SF Weekly says, "Ambrose Bierce made himself at home in many forms of writing, and in the world, from whose surface he seemed to disappear in 1913. Now the infamous San Francisco writer is back -- and black -- as embodied by Felix Justice in a one-man show called 'Bierce Returns,' written by Bart Schneider. Interesting that in the span of nearly a century, Bierce aged not at all. Nor his wit. 'War is God's way of teaching Americans geography,' he once observed [editor's note: he never said it]." The show was performed at the Green Arcade, 1680 Market St., San Francisco, on Oct. 20, 2011. thegreenarcade.com.
KELLY'S COVE PRESS
ISSUES TWO BIERCE TITLES
The Best of the Devil's Dictionary and Civil War Stories, with paintings by Chester Arnold, were published in October 2011. Both, with lovely artwork, are handsome trade paperbacks from a new press founded by Bart Schneider. For details, go HERE.
BIERCE TALE STAGED BY
LONG BEACH OPERA
Based on the Bierce story "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field," the opera was produced by the Long Beach Opera in June 2011. Composed by David Lang, libretto by Marc Wellman, the opera was originally performed in 2002 by the Kronos Quartet in San Francisco.
Robin T. Buck as "Andrew"
Opera details HERE. Review by John Farrell in the Long Beach Press-Telegram HERE. Review in the Los Angeles Times HERE.____________
MUSGRAVE BIERCE OPERA NOW ON CD
Thea Musgrave's one-act Ambrose Bierce opera An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was commissioned by the BBC's Radio 3 in 1981. This recording is taken from the original BBC audio. A review by Andrew Clements in the Guardian.co.uk.____________
NEW FILM BASED ON TWO BIERCE TALES Several Civil War reenactment groups in Illinois assisted independent Chicago-area filmmaker Brian Mitchell Warshawsky in producing Execution at Dawn, based on two Bierce stories: "Story of a Conscience" and "Parker Addison, Philosopher." Warshawsky said, "I gave Bierce prime billing in my preview, having been surprised by how few are really familiar with this national treasure of one of our greatest writers who seems to be disappearing with time." The film features Stephen Barker as Parker Addison, David Kaplan as Captain Hartroy, and Stuart Stephany as the corporal. Running time is under ten minutes and is destined for YouTube. Warshawsky's preview of the film can be seen at two places on the 'net: Vimeo or Myspace____________
Author of The Old Gringo, a novel about Ambrose Bierce in Mexico, Carlos Fuentes was felled by a stomach problem in Geneva, where he was to take part in a conference on intercultural dialogue. Details HERE. For Don Swaim's interview with Fuentes listen HERE.____________
HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE FOUNDED BY BIERCE DESCENDANTS...
...marks 100 years in Tallmadge, Ohio. The Henry Bierce Company carves out a niche. By Katie Byard in the Akron Beacon Journal____________
BIERCE BIOGRAPHER MORRIS OUT
WITH TWAIN BIO
Roy E. Morris, Jr.'s, most recent book is Lighting Out for the Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West & Became Mark Twain, published by Simon & Schuster. I loved Roy's book about Whitman, The Better Angel, but when I was mildly critical of his Bierce bio and posted a satirical photo of "Bierce" and Pancho Villa [withdrawn] on this website, it produced this response from Roy:From: CMorris500@aol.comRoy may not "really care" for me, he may think my opinions are "uninformed," and he may characterze me as a "jackass," but I wish him well. -- Don
Subject: no subject
Hey Don --This is Roy Morris Jr. I really don't care for you or your uninformed opinion. And that is not Ambrose Bierce standing behind Pancho Villa, you jackass.____________
TEN PARALLELS BETWEEN SOUTH PARK'S"It's surprisingly easy to see similarities between Bierce's infamous collection of misanthropic, cynical definitions in The Devil's Dictionary, and the poop joke-smattered tao of [the comic character] Cartman." By Gray Chapman at Paste Magazine.com
ERIC CARTMAN AND AMBROSE BIERCE____________
SOMEONE SET UP A BIERCE
ACCOUNT ON FACEBOOKclick image to enlarge
No doubt the old boy would be delighted!
FATHER JAMES LEINERT DEAD
Retired priest James Lienert, with his own funds, erected a monument to Ambrose Bierce in Sierra Mojada, Mexico, in 2004. I gave Father Lienert an entire page on the Ambrose Bierce Site related to his theory that Bierce was murdered by Mexican Federal troops and buried in an unmarked grave. Go to: Lienert. Father Lienert and I corresponded regularly by email. The fact that Bierce held no superstitious beliefs didn't faze him. [Don Swaim]
January 4, 2010. It is with sadness that I inform you that Fr. James Lienert, M.S.F. passed away today in California. He was staying with his sister at the time of his passing. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. Yours in the Holy Family, Rev. Alberto T. Treviño, Jr., M.S.F. Local Superior
ALLEGORICAL TRIP THROUGH ALABAMA
By Gordon Berg, past president of the Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia. Berg writes of Ambrose Bierce's experences as a Treasury Agent in the war-devastated South immediately after the Civil War. Go to: The Washington Times.
HOME OF BIERCE PAL TO BE RESTORED
The poet Joaquin Miller, both a friend and antagonist of Ambrose Bierce, called his cottage in Oakland, California, the Abbey, which is in the 500-acre Joaquin Miller Park. For the story go to: SFGate.
"EYES OF THE PANTHER" NOW ON DVD
Director Mike Barton's independent short film is based on an 1892 Ambrose Bierce story of a young pioneer couple caught up in terror and madness in the wilderness. It was shot entirely in Los Angeles. Cast members include Aaron Hendry and Taryn Reneau. Now available on DVD.
Boston Globe columnist Jan Freeman is the author of Ambrose Bierce's "Write It Right": The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers. In a column in The New York Times Magazine [Walker, 2009]. Freeman examines Bierce's strict and sometimes arbitrary rules of language. Go to Bierce's Bugbears.
BIERCE ON LIST OF TOP 20 HORROR WRITERS OF ALL TIME
Bierce is ranked No. 16 on an idiosyncratic list compiled by Tim Janson. [H.P. Lovecraft comes in at No. 1.] For Tim's rankings go to mania.com.
GRAPHIC CLASSICS -- SECOND EDITION
Eureka Productions has revised and expanded its 2003 anthology of Ambrose Bierce's works. Edited by Tom Pomplun and illustrated by twenty-two graphic artists. Bill Sherman reviews the book at BC Books.
AMBROSE BIERCE LIVED HERE
"I was driving down the main street in St. Helena, when I spied a cheery, butter yellow and rose-colored house, with a sign out front calling it the 'Ambrose Bierce House.'" By Lily Casura in The Weekly Calistogan.
THE STILETTO FORMAL...
...is a heavy rock group based in Phoenix. One of the group's signature songs is "The Fall of Ambrose Bierce." The song can be heard here, and the lyrics are posted predominately throughout the Internet. A good thing too because not a word of the lyrics, which seem to have little or nothing to do with Bierce, can be decifered through noise. One shudders to think of what Bierce would say about this. He never cared for music much, so maybe he'd like this.
AMBROSE BIERCE, MON AMOUR
Remembering Bierce on his birthday. By Alex Beam, Boston Globe. Go to boston.com.
BIERCE BIRTHDAY WISH
June 19, 2008. By Wayne McDonald [author of "A Bullet, A Grave, A Memory," in which Bierce confronts Jesse James and Billy the Kid]. McDonald, a free-lance writer living in New Mexico, uses Bierce's own words. Go to Associated Content.
OAKLEY HALL DEAD AT 87
The prolific novelist, who died May 12, 2008, wrote five popular novels with Ambrose Bierce as the central character. For details go to SFGate.
Don Swaim's April 2008 photo-essay focuses on a San Francisco alley named for Ambrose Bierce in 1988. Click here.
FILM BASED ON BIERCE STORY PREMIERS
The movie, written and directed by Leor Baum, is an updated treatment of Ambrose Bierce's "The Moonlit Road," a story of surmised infidelity, murder, and the supernatural. Watch video teaser:
May 6, 2008. Baum says, "The Moonlit Road has been officially accepted as part of the HollyShorts Film Festival. We're excited to premiere the film Friday, May 30th in Los Angeles." Here's a link: HollyShorts. The director has also created a MySpace page. Go to: Moonlit Road
TIME UNKIND TO BIERCE'S FAVORITE POET
One hundred years ago Ambrose Bierce championed George Sterling's epic poem "A Wine of Wizardry." Today, Sterling is little remembered and his "masterpiece" all but forgotten. Geoffrey Dunn explains in SFGate.com
BIERCE'S "CIVIL WAR STORIES"
WORLD PREMIER, KANSAS CITY
Campbell Scott as Bierce
click to enlarge
At FilmFest Kansas City. "Civil War Stories" (2006; 78 minutes; USA; directed by Don Maxwell): In this Kansas City- produced trilogy, Campbell Scott plays acerbic author Ambrose Bierce relating three of his stories set in the Civil War: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," "One Kind of Officer," and "A Story of a Conscience." The premier was on September 8, 2006, and the DVD released on November 7, 2007. For film details go to: Internet Movie Database. For more pictures go to: Market Wire.
WELLMAN'S BIERCE OPERA MAKES
EAST COAST DEBUT SEP. 14-17, 2006
Originally performed in San Francisco in 2002 with the Kronos Quartet, Bierce's "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" heads East in a Ridge Theater production at Montclair State College, New Jersey. For an interview with librettist Mac Wellman by Kathryn Walat go to: The Brooklyn Rail
BIERCE'S FIRST MAJOR BIOGRAPHER
HIMSELF THE SUBJECT OF A BIOGRAPHY
Carey McWilliams was twenty-four when he published Ambrose Bierce: A Biography (Albert & Charles Boni) in 1929. Even though there are gaps, the McWilliams biography remains definitive. McWilliams went on to become a lawyer, polemicist, and staunch opponent of the communist witch hunts. Now, McWilliams' life is chronicled in American Prophet by Peter Richardson (University of Michigan Press). Go to SFGATE
BIERCE'S 'ONE KIND OF OFFICER' PREVIEWED IN KANSAS CITY
On Oct. 14, 2005, Kansas City area filmmaker Don Maxwell hosted the opening night screening of his work in progress, "One Kind of Officer," based on Bierce's short story. Shot entirely in the Kansas City area with a local cast and crew, the film is featured in Maxwell's motion picture, Civil War Stories. The project includes "Story of a Conscience" plus a version of Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." The three films are tied together by an actor who plays Bierce 25 years after the Civil War. Maxwell plans on releasing "One Kind of Officer" as a DVD. Civil War Stories is scheduled to make its television debut in late 2006. More at kansascity.com
BIERCE RANKS #1 IN TOP TEN CYNICS LIST
Members of the Cynical Web Site (presumably, there's one member) have put Ambrose Bierce at the top of the list of the Top Ten Cynics of All Time. Some frivolity by Guy Smith.
AMBROSE BIERCE: THE DEVIL'S EDITOR
"One thing I can state with certainty is that Bierce is still alive and well at the library," writes freelance writer Bob Sargeant in an engaging essay in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, Free-Lance Star.
BIERCE TACKLES JACK LONDON
NEW AB SITE POSTING: Don Swaim reconstructs the legendary confrontation between Jack London and Ambrose Bierce in California in 1910. Click on the title above.
'AMBROSE BIERCE AND THE ACE OF SHOOTS'
Oakley Hall has published his fifth Ambrose Bierce thriller, Ambrose Bierce and the Ace of Shoots. Bierce and his pal Tom Redmond investigate the murder of the head of a Wild West Show. Viking, April 2005. $27.95
NEW AUDIOBOOK: "A BITE OF BIERCE"
Freshwater Seas Audiobooks presents five classic stories performed by Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune, with musical underscoring by Bethune. The stories include "Staley Fleming's Hallucination," "The Damned Thing," "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," "Diagnosis of Death," and "The Boarded Window." A Bite of Bierce is Freshwater Seas' first production. For details and purchase information go to: Freshwater Seas Audiobooks.
AMBROSE BIERCE AND THE JOY OF OUTRAGE
Treatise on Bierce's time and place by Jack Matthews, Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio University, Athens. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a three-time Ohioana Book Award-winner. An expert on book collecting and rare books, Matthews is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction, the latest Schopenhauer's Will, published in 2002. Go to: Ambrose Bierce and the Joy of Outrage
BIERCE INVOKED AS EDITORIAL WRITER WONDERS WHY CONSERVATIVES LACK JOY
James Howard Gibbons says conservatives dominate politics at almost every level but they're still not happy. Go to The Houston Chronicle.
ENRICO'S 'OWL CREEK BRIDGE'
NOW ON DVD
Writer Ann Hornaday calls the film, based on the classic Bierce story, one of cinema's most influential movies. Go to The Washington Post.
OAKLEY HALL OUT WITH FOURTH IN AMBROSE BIERCE MYSTERY SERIES
For a review of Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls go to Booksmatter.com.
BILLIONAIRE BUYS REMNANTS OF THE NEWSPAPER AMBROSE BIERCE ONCE WROTE FOR
Phil Anschutz is taking over the troubled San Francisco Examiner and promises to restore the newspaper's lost glory. Details at SFGate.com.
AMBROSE BIERCE: EXECUTED AND BURIED IN SIERRA MOJADA, MEXICO?
James Lienhert, former pastor of Nuestra Senora del Refugio parish in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, Mexico, offers a lengthy account of his having met an old man who, in 1914, claimed to have witnessed Bierce's execution and burial in Sierra Mojada. Lienert, at his own expense, has placed a grave marker in honor Bierce in the Sierra Mojada cemetery. Go to: Executed and Buried
AUTHOR OF BIERCE "SEQUEL" CHOOSES ART OVER ROMANCE
Matt Schutt, a guest on radio's tacky Howard Stern Show, was given a choice: he could have one minute to plug his book (Encyclopedia Satanica) on the air or spend a night with a beautiful adult film star. The story at PR WEB. Schutt says, "After ten years, four agents, and an appearance on Howard Stern, I finally managed to get my book into print. It's called Encyclopedia Satanica and it has the gall to call itself a sequel to Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary." Go to: Flying Dutchman Publishing.
NEW U.K. EDITION OF 'DEVIL'S DICTIONARY' -- WITH CARTOONS
Bloomsbury has produced an attractive new edition of The Devil's Dictionary (£9.99). The text is accompanied by Ralph Steadman's typically bloodthirsty cartoons. The corrosive insights of Ambrose Bierce seem as bitter and fresh as ever. He handles words with delicious precision. "Patience" he defines as "a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue" a description that has the satisfying inevitability of a geometric proof. Bierce's hatred of public functionaries crops up in the unlikeliest of places. "Lighthouse. A tall building on the sea-shore in which the government maintains a lamp and the friend of a politician." When he defines "Birth" as "the first and direst of all disasters" you can't help feeling a pang of sympathy for the acid-soaked curmudgeon.
'SANT AMBROSE' -- BIERCE OPERA BY RODNEY WASCHKA -- RLEASED ON CD
The opera, which premiered in 2002 in Chicago, is now available from Capstone Records.
It wasn't what I expected. I'd anticipated some somber, dirge-like opera, but instead it was light, jazzy, extremely amusing (and historically accurate). I was pleasantly -- more than pleasantly -- surprised. I also liked Waschka's interpretation of Bierce's politics, which I think, after reading Bierce for many years, is right on. Waschka created a super collaboration of musical and literary elements, and pulled it off -- something not easy to do.
Steve Duke's voice and presentation, unexpectedly, was light enough to carry the performance smoothly, and shouldn't be underestimated. I always have a fear performers who impersonate Bierce will be soooo heavy, but here, I think, Duke did it just right. [Don S.]
MARKER HONORING BIERCE IS DEDICATED
After being stymied by a local historian who questioned Bierce's birthplace, the state of Ohio erected a marker in honor of its famous native son on November 6, 2003. The marker was placed on the grounds of a high school on State Route 7 about five miles from Bierce's presumed birthplace. Go to: Bierce Gets His Marker.
A HANDY GLOSSARY FROM LICIFER'S LATEST LEXICOGRAPHER
Columnist John Derbyshire in The National Review comes up with a Devil's Dictionary-type listing of definitions as Ambrose Bierce might have created, in the unlikely event Bierce had been a conservative. Go to Derbyshire. Note: Derbyshire errs in stating that Bierce's Devil's Dictionary was published in 1911. It was first published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book.
NEW BIERCE PLAY
A one-man, two-act play, Almighty God Bierce by Ed Scutt, which premiered in Rochester, NY, under the auspices of the Greater Rochester Repertory Company, was performed a second time in Kingston, NY, in April. From producer Michael H. Arve: "Ed Scutt won both an Excellence in Writing Award and an Outstanding Acting Award by the Theatre Association of New York (TANYS) for his play. He was also awarded an OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE award by TANYS for his portrayal of Henry Drummond in the AUBURN PLAYERS production of INHERIT THE WIND." Note: Scutt's entire Bierce script has been posted on this site. Click on the title above.
PENNSYLVANIA LAWMAKERS FAIL TO FORCE STUDENTS TO RECITE PLEDGE
Ambrose Bierce's contempt of patriotic fanaticism is cited in Star-Spangled Blather by columnist Tony Norman in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
NOTE: On July 16, 2003, a federal judge struck down as unconsititional right-wing attempts to compel students to sing the national athem and recite the pledge. Bierce would certainly approve of the decision. Go to: Law.com.
DEVIL'S DICTIONARY REVISTED
Syndicated columnist Sean Gonsalves pays homage to Ambrose Bierce's classic work -- and Gonsalves, observing the dupliticous administration of George W. Bush, supplies some definitions of his own. Go to: AlterNet.org.
GREGORY PECK: A CREDIBLE BIERCE
The distinguished film actor starred as Ambrose Bierce in the 1989 adaptation of The Old Gringo, based on the novel by Carlos Fuentes. The film, directed by Luis Puenzo, also featured Jane Fonda and Jimmy Smits. In it, Bierce, a spinster (Fonda), and one of Pancho Villa's lieutenants (Smits) cross paths in the Mexican Revolution of 1913. Epic drama with rich atmosphere. For the obituary of Peck, who died at the age of 87, go to: The New York Times.
BITTER BIERCE OPENS IN NEW YORK
Two-time Obie Award-winning playwright Mac Wellman's play Bitter Bierce, or The Friction We Call Grief, stars Stephen Mellow as Bierce. For Marc Robinson's review go to the Village Voice. Here's a review in The New York Times. And to read an earlier review of the play's preview go to The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society.
BIERCE FILM DEBUTS
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, directed by Brian James Egen, formally opened at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 21, 2003. The film's producer, Susan Odom, says she prefers to call it a "Producer's Gala Screening" rather than a premiere. Earlier, the film was screened on April 5 at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, as part of the school's annual Civil War Seminar. Odom says It was good to show the film to a small group first, although it was not completely finished, with the sound track not fully mastered. For details about the current film go to Owl Creek Productions. Note: the film's website requires the latest version of Macromedia's Flash Player. Scroll below for a news story regarding the on-location filming of the movie. An earlier film version, based on the classic Civil War short story by Ambrose Bierce, was directed by the late Robert Enrico in 1962.
TWO ANTHOLOGIES INCLUDE WORKS BY BIERCE
The Colour Out of Space and Other Tales of Cosmic Horror, edited by D. Thin, New York Review Books, 354 pp., $13.95. Includes tales cited by H.P. Lovecraft in his 1927 essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature."
The Malcontents: The Best Bitter, Cynical, and Satirical Writing in the World, edited by Joe Queenan, Running Press, 1200 pp., $29.95.
TWO BIERCE STORIES NOW OPERAS
The short opera, "The Mocking Bird," based on an Ambrose Bierce story, by veteran composer Thea Musgrave (below) premiered in Boston in May 2002.
For a review go to: Schirmer Music
AND IN SAN FRANCISCO... A daring one-act opera performed by the Kronos Quarter and the American Conservatory Theater based on Ambrose Bierce's "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" -- part poem, part newspaper article, part court transcript -- detailing the mysterious disappearance of a slave owner. Read the details, and reviews, in:
A STRIFE OF INTERESTS
A right-of-center scheme to privatize Ontario's electric grid is causing an uproar in Canada. Read how columnist Jim Coyle invokes Ambrose Bierce to attack the province's premier Ernie Eves in: The Toronto Star.
JOSHUA KANE PERFORMS BIERCE, POE, AND OTHERS
KANSAS CITY. Feb. 7, 2002. As a Jew, Joshua Kane says he finds a personal connection to gothic horror. Read about Kane's one-man show, "Gothic Midnight" in The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
AMBROSE BIERCE: A SOLE SURVIVOR
Ambrose Bierce: A Sole Survivor, Bits of Autobiography. by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1998. Pp. xxvi, 356. $38.00.) Although Bierce never self-consciously told the full story of his own life, much of his output was autobiographical and of some interest to students of the Civil War and the Gilded Age. The editors of this volume have brought together this material to form a vivid, if incomplete, memoir.
Questions, Comments About Bierce? Go to:
The Ambrose Bierce Communication Board
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