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January 21, 2003

More Mizners


I have a question regarding your posting on the architecture of Addison Mizner. Is he any relation to Wilson Mizner, the screenwriter and author of such bon mots as:

A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions.

God help those who do not help themselves.

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.

Has it ever struck you that there was a sort of a cultural wave of Mizner-ification in the early decades of the 20th century? Did you ever want to start a revival?



posted by Friedrich at January 21, 2003


I'd never been aware of Wilson Mizner before -- thanks for calling him to my attention. Could that guy turn a phrase or what? Another example:

"When you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research."

I can't tell if Wilson and Addison were related, at least not without getting out of my Google head and Google chair. Whether they were or not, shall we propose a co-taught course on the Mizner theme in early 20th century America? But where? At USC? NYU?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 23, 2003 12:40 AM

Michael, I think the location of such a course should be chosen in the true Mizner spirit. Ergo, first we should get together for a night of serious drinking and then make a decision sometime around 3 A.M. On a different point, although it perhaps shows the urgent need for such a course, I was deeply grateful for your comment; I was beginning to think that 2blowhards had no readers able to recognize genius when they came across it. I mean, "I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education" is a remark worthy of Twain himself.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on January 23, 2003 11:24 AM

They were brothers.

Posted by: Aaron Haspel on January 24, 2003 9:18 AM

Wow, amazing: I forsee someone writing a dual-biography in the near future. Great researching, Aaron, thanks.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 24, 2003 11:59 AM

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