Monday, March 18, 2024

A Look Back At The Late, Great Short Story Writer Ring Lardner

It has been said that Ring Lardner is not as well known today as he should be because the late, great short story writer never wrote a novel. Although both he and O. Henry, another short story writer who never wrote a novel, are still read and respected today.    

Having written 27 short stories for online magazines, I certainly respect and enjoy Lardner’s work.   

As notes, “Ringgold William “Ring” Lardner (1885 – 1933) was an American sports columnist and satirical short story writer who enjoyed poking fun at revered institutions such as marriage, theater, and sports. His works were admired by his contemporaries, renowned authors Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Wolf and J.D. Salinger.”    

H. L. Mencken said of Ring Lardner, “I doubt that anyone who has not given close and deliberate attention to the American vulgate will ever realize how magnificently Lardner handles it. 

“He has had more imitators, I suppose, than any other living American writer, but has he any actual rivals? They all try to write the speech of the streets as adeptly and as amusingly as he writes it, and they all fall short of him… And they are all inferior in observation, in sense of character, in shrewdness and insight.”

The late literary critic Edmund Wilson added, “Lardner has marked the distinction between the baseball player’s and the prize-fighter’s slang, can speak the language of the Chicago songwriter of ‘Some Like Them Cold,’ who has come to New York to make his fortune, and has equally at his command the whole vocabulary of adolescent clichés of the young girl who writes to the songwriter, and of the quite different set of clichés of the middle-aged man from New Jersey who goes to Florida for his golden honeymoon. Lardner’s language is the product of a philologist’s ear and a born writer’s relish for words.”

His short stories were published in a popular book in 1921 called The Big Town.   

You can read more about Ring Lardner and read several of his stories via the below link:

Ring Lardner (

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