Sundays with Ambrose (part two).

by Ezekiel Fry

Francisco de Goya "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters."

Welcome once again to the world of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary. This time around I thought it might be nice to put up some of Francisco de Goya’s work to help create the mood for Bierce’s attack on Reason. Thus, I decided to use Goya’s chillingly beautiful piece “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” to help illuminate (or darken if that sounds better) the theme for this installment’s four definitions. In this way I intend to place a piece of art that I personally feel fits within the thread I am trying to go for in each of these Sunday entries. I do not want to announce what this thread might be, because it may very well be completely different than the theme each reader finds within the four presented definitions. It would be fun to hear back from folks as to what connections they find (if any) within this segment every week. For this week it appears that the very title of Goya’s print sort of gives us all a clue. But who knows? Enough with the experimentation in perception, lets get to the good shit!

Beard, n. The hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly execrate the absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.

Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

Elysium, n. An imaginary delightful country which the ancients foolishly believed to be inhabited by the spirits of the good. This ridiculous and mischievous fable was swept off the face of the earth by the early Christians–may their souls be happy in Heaven!

Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.

That is all for this week! Please stay tuned for an in-depth discussion of some of Ambrose Bierce’s less defined writings.