The Devil and Ambrose Bierce | Reader's Digest

The Devil and Ambrose Bierce

All about Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil's Dictionary.

By Jim Menick

Love: “A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder.”

Hatred: a “sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another’s superiority.”

These are taken from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary. There’s more where these came from, and they all have that bitter yet clever tang about them. I don’t know if many people look at the Dictionary anymore nowadays, but an article by Stefany Anne Golberg for the Smart Set from Drexel University certainly piqued my interest. I know Bierce as a minor figure of American letters; Golberg’s article is a golden example of a readable biographical essay that satisfies you while still making you want more. It’s a wonderful piece about an interesting albeit mostly forgotten fellow:

Bierce saw himself as a voice of authority and a harbinger of truth. No one was safe from his verbal blitz. It’s amazing that any newspaper ever employed Ambrose Bierce, who readily showered his bile on anyone and anything in society he deemed hypocritical — which was just about everyone and everything.

Take a little time and read To the Devil: The Devil’s Dictionary at 100.

  • Your Comments