slashing with his pen

I opened A Book of Prejudices and began to read. I was jarred and shocked by the style, the clear, clean, sweeping sentences. Why did he write like that? And how did one write like that? I pictured the man as a raging demon, slashing with his pen. I read on and what amazed me was not what he said, but how on earth anybody had the courage to say it.
Richard Wright on H.L. Mencken

Photo by Irving Penn of H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, 1947.