Show Notes: Ambrose Bierce

Tracy Wilson

ca. 1887 - 1896, California, USA - Author and journalist Ambrose Bierce. Image © Bettmann/CORBIS

Thanks to the recent popularity of HBO's "True Detective" series, many people have found a new (or renewed) interest in the writing of Robert W. Chambers. A book of short stories he wrote in the late 1800s called "The King in Yellow" is referenced throughout the season one story arc, with references to the yellow king, the wearing of masks and the city of Carcosa.

Influencing Chambers was a man who has been on Holly's episode wish list for quite some time, so now seemed like the perfect point to focus on him. The name "Carcosa" shows up in Chambers' work, but it was borrowed from soldier, journalist and philosopher Ambrose Bierce. Bierce first mentioned it in the short story "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" which was first published in 1891.

Our listener mail is from Alex on our Judge Crater podcast, as well as Nima about hypoxia vs. altitude sickness in our Everest two-parter (part one and part two).

Episode download link: Ambrose Bierce

Holly's research:

  • Biography. "Ambrose Bierce." http://www.biography.com/people/ambrose-bierce-9212162
  • Civil War Trust. "Shiloh." http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/shiloh.html
  • Haley, James L. "'The Great American Railroad War: How Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris Took On the Central Pacific Railroad' by Dennis Drabelle." The Washington Post. Aug. 24, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion/the-great-american-railroad-war-how-ambrose-bierce-and-frank-norris-took-on-the-central-pacific-railroad-by-dennis-drabelle/2012/08/24/acb2906e-cf8f-11e1-8e56-dffbfbe1bd20_story.html
  • McWilliams, Jim. "Ambrose Bierce's Civil War." New York Times. Dec. 17, 2013. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/ambrose-bierces-civil-war/
  • Poetry Foundation. "Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914." http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/ambrose-bierce
  • Simkin, John. "Ambrose Bierce." Spartacus International. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAbierce.htm
  • The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society http://www.biercephile.com/index.cfm
  • The Ambrose Bierce Project. http://www.ambrosebierce.org/
  • The works of Ambrose Bierce on Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/206

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