Tag: Ambrose Bierce

The Fallen Dreams of Escape


The classic Ambrose Bierce short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge has a man being hung and miraculously the rope breaks and he escapes and has an adventure only to find in the end the rope didn’t break and his escape was a dying dream of desperation. In the end the man hangs from a stiff rope, dead of a broken neck.

Barack Obama is our dying dream of the desperate.

Profiles in Literature: Ambrose Bierce

Greetings, literature-loving Dharmiacs!  Last week we sailed to ancient Mesopotamia to search for everlasting life with the great king Gilgamesh, and along the way we learned about ancient Sumeria from the venerable Moonbat.  This week we’ll jump forward to 19th century America, where a journalist with a bitter sense of humor is reshaping the horrors of war into brutally incisive portraits of human nature.

Ambrose Bierce: soldier, journalist, war correspondent.  He fought in the most brutal Civil War battles and waged a one-man war against the entrenched interests of Big Railroad in California.  He moved in all levels of society both here and abroad, then disappeared during the Mexican revolution, possibly killed by Pancho Villa’s forces.  He was suspicious of politicians as of human nature in general, and since his death has become synonymous with acidic misanthropy.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the works of this distinctly American writer…