In his “Devil’s Dictionary,” Ambrose Bierce defined admiration as the polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves. Bierce fans say the 19th century San Francisco journalist, satirist and writer should be more widely admired today because the modern world is recognizable in his writing. We discuss a newly released edition of “The Devil’s Dictionary” and a one-man show on Bierce which will premiere in San Francisco this week.

S.T. Joshi, editor of "The Devil’s Dictionary, Tales, & Memoirs"
Bart Schneider, publisher at Kelly Cove Press and playwright of "The Miraculous Return Of Ambrose Bierce"
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"

  • Maya

    What is Bierce’s significance/contribution to literature? Horrifying war narratives in the short story form? Could the devil’s dictionary be PTSD that has found an avenue in creative (sometimes hilarious) angst?

  • Daniel

    With fascination today with vampires and werewolves, Bierce would have been in his element with his own ghost stories. What was Bierce’s fascination with the occult in his several ghost stories? Also, did he have any connection with Lafcadio Hearn?

  • Guest22

    Felix sounds great!

  • Guest22

    Why isn’t Felix Justice listed as a Guest on the show in the description above?  He is the one performing the piece….!

  • Berylgolden

    How about a “Bierceism” calendar?

  • Hklyce

    The chronology from one speaker on the McKinkey poem was not correct.  It was written before the assassination, not after it.   Below from Wikipedia…..

    One of the most notable of these
    incidents occurred following the
    assassination of President William McKinley when Hearst’s opponents turned a poem Bierce had written about the assassination of Governor Goebel in 1900 into a cause célèbre.

    Bierce meant his poem, written on the occasion of the assassination of Governor William Goebel of Kentucky, to express a national mood of dismay and fear, but after McKinley was shot in 1901 it seemed to foreshadow the crime:

    “The bullet that pierced Goebel’s breastCan not be found in all the West;Good reason, it is speeding hereTo stretch McKinley on his bier.”

    Hearst was thereby accused by rival newspapers—and by then Secretary of State Elihu Root—of
    having called for McKinley’s assassination. Despite a national uproar
    that ended his ambitions for the presidency (and even his membership in
    the Bohemian Club), Hearst neither revealed Bierce as the author of the poem, nor fired him.[9]

  • Roddypilot

    Ambrose Bierce guest house in St Helena. What is it like to stay there? Satirical?

  • Denverddoll

    A caller asked for a link to the show this weekend. It is on this listing:

  • Peter

    Please please Restate Date Time and location of the
    One man production of show and post here on KQED

    • Denverddoll

      The Miraculous Return of Ambrose BierceDec. 1, 2, 3 — Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Premiere run of Bart Schneider’s one-man-show, featuring veteran San Francisco actor Felix Justice as Bierce.When:  8:00 PMWhere: Church for the Fellowship of All People, 2041 Larkin St. (near Broadway, in San Francisco)
      Bierce Returns: Felix Justice is Ambrose BierceA 50-minute one-person show culled from the writing of Ambrose Bierce Bird & Beckett 653 Chenery St. San FranciscoWhen: Sun December 4 2:00 PMWhere: Bird & Beckett

  • Cookhskpr


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