Drabelle writes about all this, but only to brush it aside and insist that Bierce was some sort of morally rigorous truth teller.
So why did Bierce, finally, in 1896, become a populist champion?
In London Bierce found congenial and stimulating associates.
Bierce's style, too, by its very fineness, alienated his public.
All this must not be taken to mean that the "form and pressure of the time" put into Bierce what was not there.
But this to Bierce was mostly "journalism, a thing so low that it cannot be mentioned in the same breath with literature."
On the original fabric of Bierce's mind the satiric strand has encroached more than the design allows.
A partial answer to both questions is to be found in a certain discord between Bierce and his setting.
Much of Bierce's best work was done in those years in San Francisco.
Bierce, paradoxically, combined the bizarre in substance, the severely restrained and compressed in form.