The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce
. A Citadel Press Book: Carol Publishing Group , Published by Carol Publishing Group . NY
PS1097.A1 1989 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I am delighted to have found this book. It brings several things to my growing collection of Bierce materials. First there are, in the Fantastic Fables section of the book (543-660), fifteen short prose fables (632-6) from the London Fun from 1872-73. They are new to me. The best of them may be The Man with the Goose on 633. There are then forty-five fables in an Aesopus Emendatus section and seventeen in Old Saws with New Teeth, none of them new to me. There follow seven fables in rhyme, all new to me. My first reading of these inclines me to believe that prose was Bierce's medium! A final help is Fadiman's essay from 1946. It sets a very good tone for understanding Bierce as bitterly brutal. Fadiman writes of the Fantastic Fables that one should read no more than a dozen of them at a time. Their quality lies in their ferocious concentration of extra-double-distilled essential oil of misanthropy. They are so condensed that they take your breath away. The theme is always the same: mankind is a scoundrel; but the changes rung upon the theme demonstrate an almost abnormal inventiveness (xviii). The book was first published in 1946 by the Citadel Press.