An incomparable satirist, Ambrose Bierce became the "laughing devil" of the San Francisco news media, for he was about as discreet as a runaway locomotive, according to H.L.Mencken, and nowhere are his uninhibited irony and gift for verse parody more in evidence than in this "dictionary".
AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-1913) American satirist, critic, short story writer, editor and journalist. He is perhaps most famous for his serialized mock lexicon, THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY in which, over the years, he scathed American culture and accepted wisdom by pointing out alternate, more practical definitions for common words.
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)
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ENLARGED DEVILS DICT
Penguin Modern Classics