James Branch Cabell was an American author of fantasy fiction and belles lettres . Cabell was well regarded by his contemporaries, including H. L. Mencken. Jurgen [James Branch Cabell] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. James Branch Cabell’s career was short-lived – his works fit neatly within. James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice went before a court in and became a bestseller, but today Cabell has met the fate of.

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But sadly the same cannot be said of very many other writers. Mark Twain was right: There are a lot of references in this from greek myth and Like our eponymous hero, James Cabell is also ‘a monstrously clever fellow’. The thing is, for me this book was a jamea delight, through and through. I can see where authors such as Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams were probably influenced by Cabell’s use of wordplay, puns, and double entendres to make fun of the political, religious, and sexual mores of the time.

December Jan 01, But, jurgem may–or may not–note that fictitious jsmes are mixed with actual ones, real events with banch, authorial invention. Cabell clearly suggests that Jurgen and his equanimity are not exceptional at all.

Cabell is fascinating apparently he was Mark Twain’s favorite author towards the end of his life. He wanders the jamss realms, taking up with Guenevere, the Lady of the Lake, a wood dryad in the realm of Queen Helen, and with several other women besides.

He wanders the mythological realms, taking up with Guenevere, the Lady of the Lake, a wood dryad in the realm of Queen Helen, and with severa This book has the honor of being one of the strangest and impossible to summarize that I have ever read. There are more than 25 slightly connected works in the Biography of Dom Manuel, so there is much more Cabell to savor beyond Jurgen.

I read this book on my father’s recommendation. And whom shall I be thanking for brancg kindness, now? Open Preview See a Problem?

And a big part of that is the humour.

Jurgen (Saga of Poictesme) by James Branch Cabell

I’m sure there are some who will say this is not a perfect book ‘and certainly I cannot go so far as to say they are wrong: This particular edition I’ve linked has footnotes, and I had a hand in its preparation — but I get no money for this; I’m just pushing it because I think the notes are useful. As I say in the review, this may be a better book to read in snippets than to dive into in a long weekend.

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Like White, Cabell takes the body of his content from the Romantic tradition, particularly as filtered through Victorian revivalism — we are in the world of Walter Scott, of Tennyson, perhaps of William Morris, as well as, at times, of Classical myth and Biblical apocrypha, and, oddly, of Russian folklore, although it should be noted that Cabell is also familiar with the mediaeval romances themselves, and references them obscurely — and like White he tells his tale in a decidedly modern, elegant yet down-to-earth manner.

Aug 16, Charles Crain rated it it was amazing. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Jurgen is in a way the story of a soul, and a summation of the human condition, or at least of a part of the human condition particularly though not exclusively the condition of young men. A trifling with women. His use of language, story, and especially subtle humor are engaging.

Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice; by James Branch Cabell

Jurgen is a mythical figure, an archetype of humanity, on a quest of self discovery disguised as a hunt for the eternal feminine principle, embodied succesively in a childhood sweetheart, Guinevere, The Lady in the Lake, Helen of Troy, a wood nymph, a seductive vampire and finally – his termagant of a consort: Yes, the general conceit of a man with a modern sensibility put into a Romantic setting for comic effect has been done by others.

Also just about masculinity in general. L Mencken called him the greatest living American writer; F. That, indeed, may be one of the primary messages of Jurgen: Indeed, he was friends with and a supporter of several female writers of his day — particularly with fellow Virginian Ellen Glasgow, a writer who confrontationally stressed the exploitation and victimhood of women at the hands of men. Notify me of new comments via email.

In any case, Chloris is a dear brown plump delicious partridge of a darling: And these excitable intellectuals and fellow-authors made a great fuss over Jurgenwhich was considered in its day not merely an incomparable masterpiece and one of the Great American Novels, but an icon for an entire generation.

Like almost all fantasy novels of the era, it did not identify itself as a straight tale of fantasy, instead employing a very thin framing device: Had to read this to see the inspiration for Heinlein’s “Job: A riotously hilarious, delightfully beautiful, and surprisingly moving novel, that manages to be both a summation of one perspective of human life and a trivial, episodic travelogue through an imagination.


Peter Smith Pub Inc Availability: Still not hidden enough, at least at first, as the book was banned on first publication. Of course it takes place in a fantasy realm where Jurgen is rewarded by the devil and must try to get out of his reward through his own understanding of the universe. Please email webmaster fantasticfiction.

Jurgen is also just. The main chacter has the chance to have an affair with Guinevere, Ainatis The maid of the LakeCloris a DriadHelen of Troy, a vampire Florimer, while he travels around several magical realms between them the Inferno and the Heaven. He is branxh for answers: This page was last edited on 17 Septemberat After reading Jurgen, jamess praise and consideration doesn’t seem far fetched, in fact Cabell am baffled he is not more widely discussed in the context of fantasy hranch.

Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice – Wikipedia

Behold Jurgen, from elderly pawnbroker to a fabled Pope -and back again- in his quest for understanding justice in things as they are! He takes to the magical land like a fish to water, and will succesively impersonate a duke, a prince, a king, an emperor, a pope, engaged cbell one outrageous adventure after another, because “I am willing to taste any drink once.

Cummings and others also merited consideration; Hemingway and Dos Passos were considered by some to be promising young writers, while Fitzgerald and Faulkner were considered second-rate and Faulkner and Hemingway in particular appear to have been widely hated by critics, supported only by a minority.

He visits Hell and Heaven. His discussions with St. Do you want your books to have a clear, wholesome sense of moral certitude and respect for upright conventional bbranch

Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell

The eponymous hero, who considers himself a “monstrous clever fellow,” embarks on a journey through ever more fantastic realms in search of a parodized version of brwnch love. A weird tale, to be sure, but pretty amusing, perhaps particularly in its observations on religion.

T This is my favorite book.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. Here is Jurgen eating lunch at the shore: