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[Devils Dictionary book cover]

 

THE DEVIL'S
DICTIONARY

AMBROSE BIERCE
(1842-1913)

Amazon.com ISBN 0486275426

 

There is an international currency in wisdom sayings, which appear in different literary forms including satiric definitions. The theme of Ambrose Bierce's writings is the fatal consequences of failing to see the world clearly. The protagonists of his stories die as a result of misconceiving the world. Failure to understand the financial world can result in great loss.

 

 

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ad vice n. The smallest current coin. de cide v.i. To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set. de lu sion n. The father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Affection, Self-denial, Faith, Hope, Charity, and many other goodly sons and daughters. e con o my n. Purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford. ed u ca tion n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. ex pe ri ence n. The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced. fi nance n. The art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager. The pronunciation of this word with the i long and the accent on the first syllable is one of America’s most precious discoveries and possessions. fol ly n. That "gift and faculty divine" whose creative and controlling energy inspires Man’s mind, guides his actions and adorns his life. learn ing n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious. lo gic n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. plan v.t. To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result. price n. Value, plus a sum for wear and tear of conscience in demanding it. ra tion al adj. Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection. rea son v.i. To weigh probabilities in the scales of desire. self ish adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

 

Review and Synopses

(Amazon.com and book cover)

 

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, April 1, 1995. Satiric lexicon by Ambrose Bierce, first compiled as The Cynic's Word Book in 1906 and reissued under the author's preferred title five years later. The barbed definitions that Bierce began publishing in the Wasp, a weekly journal he edited in San Francisco from 1881 to 1886, brought this 19th-century stock form to a new level of artistry. Employing a terse, aphoristic style, Bierce lampooned social, professional, and religious convention, as in his definitions for bore—"A person who talks when you wish him to listen"; architect—"One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money"; and saint—"A dead sinner revised and edited." Many of the entries include "authenticating" citations from spurious scholarly sources.

The Devil's Dictionary is a hilarious satire from one of the most brilliant and incisive writers of all time—Ambrose Bierce.

The caustic aphorisms collected in "The Devil's Dictionary" helped earn Ambrose Bierce the epithets Bitter Bierce, the Devil's Lexicographer, and the Wickedest Man in San Francisco. The words he shaped into verbal pitchforks a century ago—with or without the devil's help—can still draw blood today.

 


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