This volume contains five works by Henry Louis Mencken: “Pistols for Two,” “Heliogabalus,” “The Artist: A Drama Without Words,” “Suggestions to Our Visitors,” and “George Bernard Shaw: His Plays.” None of these books are included in the volume “Six by Mencken and One by Nietzsche”, which was also compiled by Ronald J. Leach, and is also available on this ebook store.
“Pistols for Two” can best be described as a duel of words between two highly opinionated and cantankerous friends of long collaboration. Take it with a grain of salt.
“Heliogabalus,” more properly entitled “Heliogabalus: A Buffoonery in Three Acts,” is a play set in ancient Rome and has an interesting perspective on the relationship between religion and marriage, slyly presented within an interesting comedy. Read the author notes to discover why the play was intended to be read, but never to be performed. Clearly, there was a talented playwright hidden inside a curmudgeonly author and essayist!
“The Artist: A Drama Without Words” is another work written in the form of a play. As the title suggests, there are no words. The work contains multiple internal dialogs at a classical music concert. You’ll never view such a concert in the same way again after reading this.
“Suggestions to Our Visitors” is a short spoof of what might have been called “customer service” in the early twentieth century.
“George Bernard Shaw: His Plays” is an interesting description of Shaw and his beliefs. Some of the ideas herein are also presented in Mencken’s commentary on the philosophy of Nietzsche. (We will produce this commentary in a future work.)