The Devil's Dictionary, begun as a weekly column when Bierce was a journalist, and developed into a full-scale satire, is, as he says, a punishment for rascals. Bierce became known as the 'laughing devil' of the San Francisco news media and his lampoons on religion, marriage, politics and society made him both the literary delight and the dreaded scourge of the whole Pacific coast. Written with wit, rather than humour, to be savoured by those 'enlightened souls who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment', The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary demonstrates that if Mark Twain was the great satirist of Southern life, Ambrose Bierce was his equal in the West.
Ambrose Bierce, America's eminent 19th century satirist known for his "witty and insolent copy," was prodigious both in his output and his talent. Author, journalist, critic, he included the first half of his dictionary in his Collected Works. Now, half a century later, a final 851 original Bierce words and definitions have been added and the volume is believed to be complete. The Devil's Dictionary is essentially a philosophical satire pricking delicate bubbles in cultures, customs and mores from A to Zenith. Take "Epitaph, n. A monumental inscription designed to remind the deceased of what he might have been if he had the will and opportunity.... Equal, adj. As bad as something else.... Equality, n. In politics, an imaginary condition in which skulls are counted instead of brains and merit is determined by lot and punished by preferment." The Dictionary deserves a place on any shelf as a caustic classic. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Penguin Classics Ser.
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 26th October 2001
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.22