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A NEW DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS by H.L. Mencken Kirkus Star

A NEW DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS

by H.L. Mencken

Publisher: Knopf

This should be a good property for the long haul, as H. L. Mencken is assured of a following in what is very definitely a characteristically personal sort of dictionary of quotations. It started in 1918 as an anthology for his own use. It developed in 1933 into a much larger work than originally planned. So -- after more than 20 years, here is a book of quotations that should stand by Bartlett and Stevenson and Hoyt, supplementing rather than substituting for them. There are certain features that are different. The historic principle in arrangement and selection makes the interrelation of quotations more interesting; more "rubrics" are used, since there is no index for cross reference; authors and titles of sources are given in full; mere platitudes are excluded unless of historic or literary importance; proverbs of all peoples are included; Bible quotarions are reassessed; new translations are frequently made for foreign quotations; proper names in their alphabetical place with quotations showing ebb and flow of opinion, not quotations from the individual. There is no index -- cross references and expanded number of headings make location of desired quotation reasonably easy provided one has a definite idea of context, and some key word. But for the person hunting helpful quotations from some specific author for a specific occasion, the absence of an index and the fact that material is not arranged under author makes reference to some other dictionary of quotations necessary. This includes some authors not often quoted, and frequently Menoken's own personal bias is evident. Good type -- good format.