James Branch Cabell
Before rising in the ranks of the fantasy genre, American author James Branch Cabell used fiction as a way to grapple with his native country's past, present, and future, as well as with the conundrum of living as an artist in a capitalist society. The exquisitely wrought short stories collected in The Certain Hour address these themes from a number of different angles.
American writer James Branch Cabell carved out a literary niche of his own with a body of work that combines fantasy, humor, and allegory. The novel Gallantry succeeds marvelously on all three levels. In terms of plot, it's a rollicking action-adventure quest story that fans of fiction set in the medieval era will relish. Thematically, it's a clever send-up of the very notion of gallantry and all of the harm wrought by this complex social...
As a revered fantasy writer, James Branch Cabell came to be known for richly imagined universes rife with fascinating detail. This early novel takes place in the "real world" of early-twentieth-century America, but it is filled with the same kind of insightful observations that enlivened Cabell's later books.
American author James Branch Cabell developed into a well-known fantasy writer later in his literary career, but his early novels focused on documenting (and slyly commenting upon) the lives of the American aristocracy in the early twentieth century. The Cords of Vanity follows the travails of a troubled protagonist whose creative aspirations slowly begin to tear him apart.
The darkly comic allegory Jurgen caused quite a stir when it was originally published, with several jurisdictions deeming it obscene and calling for it to be pulled from store shelves. After his wife mysteriously vanishes, middle-aged pawnbroker Jurgen sets off on a not-so-heroic quest to find her, traveling through a series of strange lands in the process.
Set in early sixteenth-century Tuscany, this short comedic romp from author James Branch Cabell explores the moral lassitude and selective ethics of a coterie of businessmen. It's a thoroughly entertaining look at a past culture that is sure to tickle readers' funny bones.
In 1919, American writer James Branch Cabell caused a stir with the publication of his racy, uproariously hilarious medieval allegory Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice. Almost immediately, the novel drew the ire of censors, and Cabell soon found himself being prosecuted for indecency. Taboo is Cabell's fictionalized response to the kerfuffle, and it is brimming with his keen insight and witty barbs.
Though he later gained widespread acclaim as a pioneering writer of fantasy fiction, James Branch Cabell's early novels are largely realistic and dryly humorous in tone. The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck, which unfolds in early-twentieth-century Virginia, is a comedy of manners set among the upper echelons of Richmond high society.
The word "domnei" refers to the ritualized devotion that knights were required to display toward their ladies in the medieval period. James Branch Cabell's novel of the same title explores the concept in a rich, meditative look at femme fatale Melicent and the ultimately ruinous sparring her love inspires among her coterie of husbands, knights, and suitors.