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The Devil's Dictionary (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, May 20, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
My favorites are the definitions pertaining to religion.
Bierce's own definition of dictionary gives some insight into his general thought patterns:
'Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.'
This would lead us to conclude (most correctly) that Bierce is a world-class cynic. What is a cynic?
'Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.'
Originally published under the title 'The Cynic's Word Book', most of the definitions in this book originally appeared as part newspaper columns. There have been many imitators, but this is the first and finest collection. Arranged as a dictionary, it provides an interesting writer's tool for finding a unique perspective on words and phrases. There are more than 1000 entries. A few examples include:
'Outdo, v.t., To make an enemy.'
'Universalist, n. One who foregoes the advantage of a Hell for persons of another faith.'
Fair warning -- those who do not like cynicism and scathing wit will find this book irritating, and sometimes offensive.Read more ›
My two favorites are:
IMPIETY: n. Your irreverence toward my deity.
IMPOSTER: n., A rival aspirant to public honors.
I enjoy perusing this book and then sharing my findings with friends - who also enjoy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased the book for purposes of research and as the basis for my own dictionary. It was not as comprehensive as I hoped, but it served my purpose extremely well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eston Roberts
Very clever, if dark, writing; eg "Disabuse: To present your neighbor with another and better error than the one which he has deemed it advantageous to embrace."Published 7 months ago by Nontech44
Okay, if you're even looking at this book, you have a good idea of what it is. And although some of Bierce's viewpoints are products of his era (please keep that in mind; he uses... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Craig Sheeley