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Ingram [bf7. Stephenson [bVl. Keep [CWu. Randall [eXo. Letendre [EY0.

Tate [eZt. Smith [eZt. Lewis [FGC. Thompson [Har. McCartney [hPX. Morris [HQI. Allora [HuZ. By Hentai Jones [IE5.


  • The Extended Devil's Dictionary (Annotated (English Edition by Ambrose Bierce!
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Hendee [iuU. Lewis [JQ6. Bates [jvH. Short MD [lfd. Pink [lqP. Moore [LrA. Scott Fitzgerald [MLP. Tripp [MLP. Lincoln [MNd. Every Time By Maria Konnikova [mx6. Richman [nUm. By Stan Kohut [NVn. Phillips [ohP. Duff [rec. Ford [RHq. Daniels [tSC. Gessler [twI. Haggerty [UhT. Kubik [VLe. It has been widely quoted, frequently translated, and often imitated, earning a global reputation. And maybe one of the greatest in all of world literature.

Prior to Bierce, the best-known writer of amusing definitions was Samuel Johnson. Johnson's Dictionary defined 42, words, almost all seriously. A small handful have witty definitions and became widely quoted, but they were infrequent exceptions to Johnson's learned and serious explanations of word meanings.

Most people assume that Webster's text is unrelieved by humor, but as Bierce himself was to discover and describe [4] , Webster made witty comments in a tiny number of definitions. Decades after his death, researchers combed through Flaubert's papers and published the Dictionary under his name in two years after Bierce's book The Devil's Dictionary , "But the alphabetful of definitions we have here is compiled from a mass of notes, duplicates and variants that were never even sorted, much less proportioned and polished by the author.

Bierce took decades to write his lexicon of satirical definitions.

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He warmed up by including definitions infrequently in satirical essays, most often in his weekly columns "The Town Crier" or "Prattle". His earliest known definition was published in His first try at a multiple-definition essay was titled "Webster Revised". It included definitions of four terms and was published in early For example, in one letter he defined "missionaries" as those "who, in their zeal to lay about them, do not scruple to seize any weapon that they can lay their hands on; they would grab a crucifix to beat a dog.

By summer of he had conceived of the idea of something more substantial: "Could any one but an American humorist ever have conceived the idea of a Comic Dictionary " he wrote. Bierce did not make his first start at writing a satirical glossary until six years later. His glossary provided 48 short witty definitions, from "A" "The first letter in every properly constructed alphabet" through "accoucheur".

But "The Demon's Dictionary" appeared only once, and Bierce wrote no more satirical lexicons for another six years. Even so, Bierce's short glossary spawned imitators. The column started with the 7 August issue [10] and appeared weekly in 28 issues, working its way step-by-step alphabetically to define words, ending with "shoddy" in the 26 February issue. In the next issue of The Wasp Brook's column appeared no more, because The Wasp hired Bierce and he stopped it, replacing "Wasp's Improved Webster" with his own column of satirical definitions.

Bierce's first "Prattle" column appeared in the Examiner on March 5 of that year, and the next installment of his satirical lexicon appeared in the 4 September issue on page 4, under the title "The Cynic's Dictionary". In the meantime, Bierce's idea of a "comic dictionary" was imitated by others, and his witty definitions were plagiarized without crediting him.

One imitator even copied the name of Bierce's column. In September , Bierce wrote letters to his friend Herman George Scheffauer mentioning he was thinking about a book of his satirical definitions "regularly arranged as in a real dictionary. Thompson and his definitions would have an unexpected impact on the publication of Bierce's book.

Devil Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, First Edition - AbeBooks

Instead the contract used the same title as Bierce's nationally distributed newspaper columns: The Cynic's Dictionary. Here in the East the Devil is a sacred personage the Fourth Person of the Trinity, as an Irishman might say and his name must not be taken in vain.

Bierce's publishers quickly discovered that they would not be able to use The Cynic's Dictionary for the title either. Thompson's book would be published first and would steal Bierce's title. I dare say the author took more than my title—the stuff has been a rich mine for a plagiarist for many a year.

Bierce's book was filed for copyright 30 August [23] and was published October Bird, who brought out a British edition in Bierce's plan to cover the entire alphabet was brought back to life by publisher Walter Neale, who persuaded Bierce to sign an agreement with him on 1 June for Neale to publish The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce in a set of ten or more volumes. To create a typescript for Neale to publish, Bierce first marked up a copy of The Cynic's Word Book with changes and a few additions.

Next he took clippings of his newspaper column definitions and revised them. Volume 7, The Devil's Dictionary , was published in Unlike most publishers, who sell individual volumes of a published work, Neale focused on selling complete sets of the volume Works. Neale later claimed that he printed and sold 1, sets numbered fully leatherbound sets, the first volume of each set signed by Bierce; a small number of sets half-bound in Morocco leather; and the bulk as sets of clothbound hardcovers.

MacArthur Jr.


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