James Branch Cabell

James Branch Cabell had an impressively poisonous pen. His eighth and most famous novel, 1919’s satirical fantasy Jurgen, earned him a brief period in the literary spotlight when the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice attempted to prosecute it for obscenity. The case went on for two years before the courts decided in Cabell’s favor. Cabell then A) wrote a revised introduction to Jurgen, in which his hero is put on trial, and the lead prosecutor is a large dung beetle, and B) wrote a short story called Taboo, which he dedicated to the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, with thanks for furthering his career.

Despite the fact that Jurgen is heavier on the satire than the fantasy, Cabell’s work has influenced many fine science fiction and fantasy writers, including Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Fritz Leiber, and Neil Gaiman.


Verrrry limited, although I think there's a Dover Thrift edition of Jurgen.

Other Recommendations:
The Gormenghast trilogy, by Mervyn Peake
Posted by: Julia


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