Tag Archives: Ambrose Bierce

The Strange Case of Ambrose Bierce

13 Feb

The American writer Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913) was a highly accomplished man who was famous for many things. He was a skilled short story writer who could turn his talent to virtually any genre, although his ghostly tales are the ones which have won him the most acclaim. As a literary critic he was feared and respected in equal measure, since his commentaries (though always fair) could be uncompromisingly blunt. Bierce pioneered a distinctive, much-imitated style of writing, which often embraced an abrupt beginning, dark imagery, vague references to time, limited descriptions, the theme of war and impossible events. Yet for all of these laudable achievements, to this day what Bierce is best known for is the fact that in 1913, while on a visit to Mexico to gain a first-hand perspective on that country’s ongoing revolution, the elderly writer disappeared without a trace. No satisfactory explanation has ever been put forward for this mysterious event, which was strangely prefigured in Bierce’s short stories, and the writer’s body has never been found.

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