The Devil’s Dictionary

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However, in late or early the periodical The London Opinion paid Neale for the right to reprint definitions of words from The Devil's Dictionary. Youth is the true Saturnian Reign, the Golden Age on earth again, when figs are grown on thistles, and pigs betailed with whistles and, wearing silken bristles, live ever in clover, and cows fly over, delivering milk at every door, and Justice is never heard to snore, and every assassin is made a ghost and, howling, is cast into Baltimost!

Under the entry " leonine ", meaning a single line of poetry with an internal rhyming scheme, Bierce included an apocryphal couplet written by the fictitious "Bella Peeler Silcox" i. Ella Wheeler Wilcox in which an internal rhyme is achieved in both lines only by mispronouncing the rhyming words:. The electric light invades the dunnest deep of Hades. Cries Pluto , 'twixt his snores: " O tempora!

O mores! Initial critical reception for The Cynic's Word Book was mixed. One, upon reading it, finds a decided delight upon Bierce's character and his grim morbidness and obsession.

Other reviewers disliked the sharp edge of Bierce's wit. Some were exhausted trying to read The Cynic's Word Book cover-to-cover, as though it was a thriller or popular novel. Edward F.

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Like Cahill, other reviewers—whether they hated The Cynic's Word Book or they loved it—quoted definitions they liked. Most reviewers of the twelve-volume set didn't mention The Devil's Dictionary in their reviews, and those few who even named the book gave it scant consideration.

It represents a deliberate pose consistently maintained, it is pervaded with a spirit of what a large proportion of readers in a Christian country would pronounce irreverent, it tells us nothing new and can hardly be conceived of as an inspiration for higher or nobler living. But it is undeniably entertaining reading. Seven years after the book's publication H. There you will find the true masterpiece of the one genuine wit that These States have ever seen. At that time, critical evaluations of The Devil's Dictionary were rare because copies of the book were hard to find.

This scarcity changed in , when the first reprint of The Devil's Dictionary was published, making the book easy to obtain. About the same time, the first abridged version was published by Haldeman-Julius as a Little Blue Book with a budget price of five cents. As The Devil's Dictionary became widely available, critical coverage of it increased.

After receiving attention from reviewers in newspapers and commercial magazines, The Devil's Dictionary started to receive analyses from scholars in dissertations and academic journals. They investigated the place of Bierce's writing in the world's history of satire, [46] how The Devil's Dictionary achieved its humorous effects, [47] and the themes Bierce stressed in the book. Reprinted editions sometimes provided critical information about the book in the form of introductions by literary critics, [50] Bierce scholars, [51] or Bierce's biographers.

In , the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration was created by an act of Congress to create events and commemorations to celebrate the th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The Devil’s Dictionary ()

The final choices included 99 volumes of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays, but only one volume of humor: The Devil's Dictionary. Since then the critical reputation of The Devil's Dictionary has continued to expand, as has the book's popularity with readers, by means of reprints, illustrated versions, and abridged editions continuously published in a dozen languages around the world. See Translations of The Devil's Dictionary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company. Oxford University Press, , p.

Schultz and S. Joshi , eds. San Francisco: Book Club of California , , p. Joshi and David E. Schultz, eds.

Fiendishly good

Columbus: Ohio State University, , p. Howes, 19 Jan. Joshi, eds. Howe, 4 November , p. See The English Catalogue of Books , v. Life of Ambrose Bierce. New York: Walter Neale, , p. New York: Walter Neale, , pp. Reprinted in H. Mencken on American Literature , S. Joshi, ed. Hall, , pp. University of Southern California. New York: Hill and Wang, , pp. Paris: Julliard, , pp. New York: F. Watts, , pp. Ambrose Bierce: The Making of a Misanthrope.

San Francisco: Chronicle Books, , p. Robert E. Spiller, Willard Thorp, Thomas H. In this splendid "dictionary" of epigrams, essays, verses and vignettes, you'll find over 1, pointed definitions, e. Congratulation "The civility of envy" , Coward "One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs" and Historian "A broad-guage gossip". Anyone who likes to laugh will love "the Devil's Dictionary.

Mencken called "some of the most gorgeous witticisms in the English language. Other books in this series. The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli. Add to basket. Beyond Good and Evil Friedrich Nietzsche. The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka. Meditations Marcus Aurelius. Flatland Edwin A. The Republic Plato. The Trial Franz Kafka. Siddhartha Hermann Hesse. Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad.


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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson. Leaves of Grass Walter Whitman. Candide Voltaire. About Ambrose Bierce Journalist, short story writer, and satirist Ambrose Bierce was equally adept in a variety of genres, from ghost stories to poetry to political commentary. Bierce's fiction is particularly distinguished by its realistic depictions of the author's Civil War experiences.

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