Books: The Great American Goth

H. L. MENCKEN ON MUSIC (222 pp.)—A selection by Louis Cheslock—Knopf ($4.50).

LETTERS OF H. L. MENCKEN (506 pp.)—Selected and annotated by Guy J. Forgue—Knopf ($7.95).

There are only two kinds of music; German music and bad music. Puccini was the best of the wops. His aim was to entertain well-fed folk after dinner—and he did it very competently. Verdi is not to be heard sober, but with a few whiskies tinder my belt I enjoy the last act of II Trovatore. Chopin is a sugar-teat: his music is excellent on rainy afternoons in...

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