miércoles, 28 de julio de 2021

Ambrose Bierce


Short Stories

Ambrose Bierce / War

Ambrose Bierce
(1842 - 1914)

File:Bierce Ambrose, sig, clean and moderately crisp.jpg

Ambrose Bierce was born in Meigs County, Ohio, on 24th June, 1842. He was a printer's apprentice but influenced by his uncle, Lucius Bierce, became a strong opponent of slavery.
On the outbreak of the Civil War Lucius Bierce organized and equipped two companies of marines. Bierce joined one of these on 19th April, 1861, and two months later became part of the invasion force led by George McClellan in West Virginia.
On 6th April, 1862, Albert S. Johnson and Pierre T. Beauregard and 55,000 members of the Confederate Army attacked Grant's army near Shiloh Church, in Hardin, Tennessee. Taken by surprise, Grant's army suffered heavy losses. Bierce was a member of the force led by General Don Carlos Buell that forced the Confederate to retreat. Bierce was deeply shocked by what he saw at Shiloh and after the war wrote several short stories based on this experience.
Bierce was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in November, 1862. Two months later he fought at Murfreesboro where he saved the life of his commanding officer, Major Braden, by carrying his to safety and he had been seriously wounded in the fighting.
In February, 1862 Bierce was commissioned first lieutenant of Company C of the Ninth Indiana. He fought at Chickamuga (September, 1863) under General William Hazen. The sight of so many senior officers, including William Rosecrans, fleeing from the battlefield, deeply shocked Bierce. It is said that Bierce's idealism died that day and was replaced by cynicism. He later wrote that during the war he entered "a world of fools and rogues, blind with superstition, tormented with envy, consumed with vanity, selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions - frothing mad!"
Bierce served under General William Sherman during his Atlanta Campaign. At Resaca on 14th May, 1864, Bierce's close friend, Lieutenant Brayle was killed. Two weeks later his regiment suffered heavy losses when attacked by General Joseph Johnson at Pickett's Mill. Bierce was badly wounded at Kennesaw Mountain when he was shot in the head by a musket ball on 23rd June. While engaged in this duty, Lieutenant Bierce was shot in the head by a musket ball which caused a very dangerous and complicated wound, the ball remained within the head from which it was removed sometime afterwards.
General William Hazen reported: "After being treated in hospital he returned to the front-line on 30th September, 1864. The injury caused him long-term problems for the rest of his life. He later wrote: "for many years afterward, subject to fits of fainting, sometimes without assignable immediate cause, but mostly when suffering from exposure, excitement or excessive fatigue."
After the war Bierce went to California where he became a journalist working for the Overland Monthly. He travelled to England in 1872 and worked for humorous magazines in London such as Figaro and Fun. Bierce returned to the United States in 1875 and over the next twelve years he contributed to a wide variety of different journals.
In March, 1887, William Randolph Hearst, recruited Bierce to write a regular humorous article for his San Francisco Examiner. The articles were a great success and Hearst was soon paying Bierce $100 a week to retain his services.
Bierce held strong opinions and was especially critical of social reformers and liberal politicians. He advocated "a vigilant censorship of the press, a firm hand upon the church, keen supervision of public meetings and public amusements, command of the railroads, telegraph and all means of communications" in order to stop the growth of socialism.
In 1891 he published a book of short-stories, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (later revised and republished as In the Midst of Life), about the American Civil War. Bierce followed this with Can Such Things Be? (1893), Fantastic Fables (1899) and Shapes of Clay (1903). In 1906 Bierce published The Cynic's Word Book(reissued in 1911 as The Devil's Dictionary).
As well as working for the San Francisco Examiner, Bierce contributed to journals such as Cosmopolitan,Everybody's, Hampton's Magazine and Pearson's. In 1895 he helped William Randolph Hearst with his campaign against the the railway magnate, Collis Huntington. It is argued that Bierce's articles helped to prevent the growth of Huntington's company, Southern Pacific.
In 1906 Bierce argued: "Nothing touches me more than poverty. I have been poor myself. I was one of those poor devils born to work as a peasant in the fields, but I found no difficulty getting out of it. I don't see that there is any remedy for the condition which consists in the rich being on top. They always will be. The reason that rich men are poor - this is not a rule without an exception - is that they are incapable. The rich become rich because they have brains."
Bierce spent spent from 1909 to 1912 editing his 12 volume Collected Works. In June 1913 Ambrose Bierce went to Mexico where he disappeared. It is not known exactly when or how he died but it has been suggested he was killed during the siege of Ojinaga in January, 1914.

Ambrose Bierce
Compiled by Don Swaim

Jun 24, 1842 — Born near Horse Cave Creek, Meigs County, Ohio, to Marcus and Laura Bierce. Youngest of 10 siblings.
1846 — Family moves to Walnut Creek, three miles south of Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Indiana.
1857 — Becomes a printer's devil for The Northern Indianan, Warsaw.
1859 — Attends the Kentucky Military Institute for one year.
1860 — Works as a laborer in George Steeple's brickyard, later as an employee at the retail store of A.E. Farber, Elkhart Indiana.
Apr 19, 1861 — Enlists as a private in Company C of the Ninth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers.
Jun 3, 1861 — Sees first military action in skirmish with Confederates at Philippi, Virginia.
Jul 10, 1861 — Heroically rescues a mortally injured soldier while under Confederate fire at Girard Hill, West Virginia.
Aug 27, 1861 — Re-enlists with the rank of sergeant.
Feb 1862 — Reassigned to Hazen's Brigade of Buell's Army of the Ohio and shipped to Nashville. Named topographical officer to General Hazen.
Apr 1862 — Battle of Shiloh and the siege of Cornith, Mississippi.
May 1862 — Promoted to second lieutenant.
Dec 26, 1862 — Battle of Stones River.
Feb 14, 1863 — Promoted to first lieutenant.
Sep 20, 1863 — Battle of Chickamauga.
Nov 24, 1863 — Battle of Missionary Ridge.
Feb 1864 — Re-enlists for a third tour.
May 27, 1864 — Battle of Pickett's Mill.
Jun 23, 1864 — Wounded in the head by Confederate sniper during the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, and evacuated to a military hospital in Chattanooga.
Sep 1864 — Returns to his brigade.
Oct 1864 — Captured by Confederate guerrillas along the Coosa River, Alabama, but escapes [Bierce himself makes this claim, but there is no independent verification]
Nov 1864 — Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Named brevet captain.
Jan 16, 1865 — Mustered out of the military at Huntsville, Alabama.
Mar 13, 1865 — Named brevet major, an honorary title for distinguished service in the war.
Apr 1865 — Federal Treasury agent, Selma, Alabama. Bandits attack his steamboat loaded with confiscated cotton on the Tombigbee River.
Sep 1865 — Visits Panama, begins a journal, his first serious writing.
winter 1866 — Resigns Treasury appointment, returns to Indiana, applies for a captaincy in US Army.
summer 1866 — Joins General Hazen as engineering attache in dangerous military expedition through Indian territory to inspect Western military posts.
Nov 1866 — Arrives San Francisco with Hazen expedition, application for captaincy denied, takes a job as watchman at US Branch Mint.
Sep 21, 1867 — First published work in the Californian, a poem called "The Basilica."
Dec 1867 — Publishes his first non-fiction, "Female Suffrage," in the Californian.
July 1868 — Publishes articles in The Golden Era and the News-Letter.
summer 1868 — Joins the staff of the News-Letter.
Dec 12, 1868 — Becomes editor of the News-Letter. Writes "The Town Crier" column. Meets Mark Twain who visits the News-Letter to repay a loan.
1870 — Moves to San Rafael, hoping the climate will help his asthma.
Jan 1871 — Publishes his first short story, "The Haunted Valley," in the Overland, edited by Bret Harte.
Dec 25, 1871 — Marries Mary Ellen (Mollie) Day in San Francisco.
Mar 9, 1872 — Resigns from the News-Letter and moves with Mollie to London. Writes for the younger Tom Hood's humor magazine Fun under pseudonym "Dod Grile." Contributes to the magazine Figaro.
Jul 1872 — Publishes first book, The Fiend's Delight, for John Camden Hotten under Dod Grile pseudonym.
Dec 18, 1872 — Son Day born in Bristol, England, where the Bierces had moved from London.
winter 1873 — Moves to Bath, England.
summer 1873 — Moves to Hampstead, England.
fall 1873 — Visits Paris for two months. Publishes second book, Nuggets and Dust (Chatto and Windus).
winter 1873 — Dines with Mark Twain and Joaquin Miller in a riotous celebration at the Friars Club, London.
May 1874 — Edits a short-lived magazine, The Lantern.
Apr 29, 1874 — Second son, Leigh, is born.
1875 — Publishes third book, Cobwebs from an Empty Skull (Routledge and Sons).
May 1875 — Mollie, Day, and Leigh return to San Francisco.
Oct 1875 — Rejoins his family in San Francisco, obtains employment in the Assay Office of the Branch Mint.
Oct 30, 1875 — Daughter Helen born in San Francisco.
1876-77 — Serves as secretary to the Bohemian Club.
Mar 1877 — Named associate editor of the Argonaut, writes a column, "The Prattler." Pulls his pistol on an angry reader who attacks him in the Argonaut office.
Jun 1877 — Contributes to a hoax, a book called The Dance of Death by "William Herman," followed by a "rebuttal," The Dance of Life by "J. Milton Sloluck."
1877 — Moves to San Rafael, Marin County.
Jun 1880 — Hired as general agent of the Black Hills Placer Mining Company, Rockerville, South Dakota. Fights off road agents attempting to rob a money shipment between Deadwood and Rockerville.
Dec 1880 — Travels to New York to learn the mining company is insolvent. Returns in defeat to California.
Mar 1881 — Contributes to San Francisco Wasp, and resumes his column "Prattle." Begins series of definitions in his column titled "The Devil's Dictionary." Becomes editor in mid-July.
1882 — Moves to Oakland, California. Savagely attacks Oscar Wilde in the Wasp during Wilde's first tour of America.
1882 — Moves to Auburn, California.
1885 — Moves to St. Helena, Napa County.
Jul 1885 — Wasp is sold, Bierce leaves editor's chair, but becomes regular contributor.
Sep 1886 — Last contribution to the Wasp.
March 1887 — Hired as a columnist and editorial writer for San Francisco Examiner by William Randolph Hearst. His column "Prattle" begins in the Examiner on March 27, 1887. Starts publishing his Civil War stories in the Examiner.
1888 — Separates from Mollie. Moves to Sunol, California.
Jul 16, 1889 — Day Bierce, 17, involved in a love triangle in Chico, California, shoots and kills his rival, then himself.
1889 — Meets novelist Gertrude Atherton.
1891 — Publishes his first book of fiction containing his most famous stories, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (E.I.G. Steele), reprinted in London as In The Midst of Life (1892).
Oct 1892 — Rewrites a long fable translated from the German by Adolphe Danziger, The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter (Schulte & Co., Chicago), the closest Bierce comes to a novel.
Nov 1892 — Publishes satirical poetry collection Black Beetles in Amber (Western Authors Publishing Co., San Francisco). Attacks Danziger with a cane.
Dec 1893 — Publishes Can Such Things Be? (Cassell Publishing Co, NY), supernatural tales.
1893 — Champions poets Edwin Markham ("The Man With the Hoe") and George Sterling.
1893 — Moves to Berkeley.
1894 — Relocates to San Jose, later Los Gatos.
Jan 1896 — Sent to Washington by William Randolph Hearst to muckrake against a bill to excuse the debt owed to the government by Collis P. Huntington and the railroads. Refuses to shake Huntington's hand at a congressional hearing. Bierce and the Examiner are credited for defeating the "railrogues."
Dec 1896 — Returns to Los Gatos.
Dec 1896 — Putnams publishes revised and expanded version of Tales as Soldiers and Civilians as In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians.
Jan 1899 — Publishes Fantastic Fables (Putnam's, NY).
Dec 1899 — Moves to Washington, DC, to continue writing for William Randolph Hearst, stopping en route to visit son Leigh, a reporter for the New York Telegraph.
Mar 31, 1901 — Leigh Bierce, 26, dies in New York of pneumonia after catching cold during a drunken spree.
Sep 6, 1901 — After President McKinley is murdered, critics of Hearst exhume a quatrain published by Bierce in the Examiner that seems to urge McKinley's assassination, an issue said to have contributed to Hearst's failure at election to high office.
Oct 1903 — Publishes Shapes of Clay (Wood, San Francisco), a collection of verse.
Dec 1904 — Mollie files for divorce in Los Angeles; Bierce and literary critic Percival Pollard, visit the ruins of devastating Baltimore fire.
Apr 27, 1905 — Mollie dies in Los Angeles.
Sep 1905 — Begins writing for Hearst's Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Oct 1906 — Doubleday publishes The Devil's Dictionary, originally under the title The Cynic's Word Book.
Oct 1907 — Bierce and Percival Pollard tour the Civil War battlefields of Tennessee, then vacation in Galveston, Texas.
1908 — Bierce resigns from Cosmopolitan, saying of Hearst, "Nobody but God loves him..."
Jul 1909 — Publishes The Shadow on the Dial and Other Essays (Robertson, San Francisco)
Oct 1909 — Neale Publishing Co., Washington, DC, publishes the classic Bierce text on writing, Write it Right.
1909 — Percival Pollard publishes Their Day in Court, which extolls Bierce's work over many pages.
1909-12 — Neale Publishing Co. begins publication of Bierce's 12-volume Collected Works.
May 1910 — Returns to California where he engages in legendary drinking bout with the hated Socialist Jack London at the Bohemian Club's summer camp on the Russian River.
summer 1911 — Vacations in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
Dec 1911 — Bierce attends Pollard's funeral in Baltimore and jousts with young H. L. Mencken, who writes sardonically about the meeting in Sixth Prejudices.
Jun 1912 — Returns to California for final visit.
Oct 2, 1913 — Formulates plans to go to Mexico, writing his neice Lora: "To be a Gringo in Mexico — ah, that is euthanasia." Leaves Washington, DC, by train, bound for Mexico.
Oct 3, 1913 — Arrives in Chattanooga, visits Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, and other Civil War battlegrounds.
Oct 24, 1913 — Arrives in New Orleans. Is interviewed by a reporter for the States in which Bierce is quoted as saying "I'm on my way to Mexico because I like the game."
Oct 27, 1913 — Arrives in San Antonio, visits Fort Sam Houston.
Nov 6, 1913 — Writes his niece from Laredo, Texas, "...don't know where I shall be next. Guess it doesn't matter much. Adios." Visits Fort McIntosh on the banks of the Rio Grande.
Nov 28 1913 — Crosses the International Bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on horseback, reportedly carrying two-thousand dollars in gold (the theories about this vary), ostensibly to connect with Pancho Villa.
Dec 26, 1913 — Writes a letter from Chihuahua, Mexico, to his secretary/companion, Carrie Christiansen, saying he expects to move out the next day, partly by rail, to Ojinaga, where Pancho Villa's revolutionaries are poised to attack federal troops. This is the last communication from Bierce.
Jan 1, 1914 — Pancho Villa captures Ojinaga.
1914 — Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, forms an investigative team to look into Bierce's disappearance but comes up with nothing. Bierce's daughter, Helen, launches an investigation under the direction of Colonel C. J. Velardi. Again, with no results.
Mar 1920 — The San Francisco Bulletin sends reporter James H. Wilkins to Mexico to find out what happened to Bierce, and publishes a sensational story claiming that Bierce was shot by a Villa firing squad near Icamoli in 1915.
1920 — Vincent Starrett publishes Ambrose Bierce, Chicago [more of an appraisal than a biography]
Jul 23, 1923 — Pancho Villa is assassinated in Parral, Mexico.
1929 — Adolphe Danziger (who changed his name to Adolphe De Castro) claims to have personally interviewed Villa several years before, and suggests that Villa ordered Bierce shot because the gringo drank too much tequila (NOTE: Danziger is not credible).
1929 — Biographer Carey McWilliams quotes Edward S. O'Reilly, a soldier of fortune, as saying Ambrose Bierce was buried near Sierra Mojada after having been shot by local soldiers. NOTE: See Aug 2004 (below) for a credible theory by James Lienert giving credence to McWilliams' 1929 account.
1929 — Three biographies and a bibliography of Bierce are published:
Ambrose Bierce: A Biography. Carey McWilliams, New York [which to this day remains the most illuminating of all the biographies]
Bitter Bierce. C. Hartley Grattan, Garden City
Portrait of Ambrose Bierce. Adolphe de Castro, New York
Ambrose Bierce, a Bibliography. Vincent Starrett, Philadelphia
1929 — The Bridge, a silent film version of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," is released. Written and directed by Charles Vidor. Reissued as The Spy.
1932 — Gertrude Atherton publishes Adventures of a Novelist, which is heavily focused on her relationship with Bierce.
1942 — The Limited Editions Club republishes Tales of Soldiers and Civilians with wood-engravings by Paul Landacre.
1951 — Paul Fatout publishes Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Lexicographer
1962 — French director Robert Enrico produces a film version of Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Film wins the Palme d'Or and an Academy Award (best short film 1963).
1964 — Enrico's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is broadcast as Episode #142 on CBS-TV's "The Twilight Zone."
1967 — Richard O'Connor publishes Ambrose Bierce: A Biography
1979 — Film version of Bierce's story "One of the Missing," directed by J.D. Feigelson, is broadcast on PBS. Released as a DVD 2006.
1982 — Operatic version of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," composed by Thea Musgrave and performed by the London Sinfonietta in a BBC studio performance, London.
1985 — Carlos Fuentes publishes his Mexican revolutionary novel The Old Gringo, in which Bierce is the central character.
1989 — Film version of the Carlos Fuentes novel, The Old Gringo, is released. Directed by Luis Puenzo. Stars Gregory Peck as Bierce, with Jane Fonda, Jimmy Smits.
1995 — Roy Morris, Jr., publishes Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company
1996 — Don Swaim launches The Ambrose Bierce Site on the Internet
1999 — Publication of Ambrose Bierce: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources by S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz (Greenwood Press). Definitive bibliography of Bierce material.
2000 — From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter. Horror film directed P.J. Pesce. Ambrose Bierce (played by Michael Parks) takes on vampires in Mexico.
2001 — Oakley Hall publishes Ambrose Bierce and the Death of Kings, the first of five mysteries built around Ambrose Bierce, each novel with the name of a card in the title.
2002 — Saint Ambrose, opera composed by Rodney Waschka premiers in Chicago.
March-April 2002 — Rob Foster's two-act play, "Last Stand of Ambrose Bierce," premiers in Carmel, California.
Feb 2002 — Jacob Silverstein in Harper's Magazine reports an elderly native of Marfa, Texas, learned second-hand that Bierce died of pneumonia and was buried in a common grave in a Marfan cemetery. Improbable.
Mar 2002 — Kronos Quartet and the American Conservatory Theater premier an opera in San Francisco based on the Bierce story "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field."
May 2002 — World premier of "The Mocking Bird," an opera based on a Bierce story, composed by Thea Musgrave. Boston Musica Viva.
Jun 2002 — Ohio Bicentennial Commission first puts on hold plan to honor Bierce with a historical marker after dispute over his birthsite, but finds sufficient evidence to proceed with the project.
Aug 21, 2002 — "Bitter Bierce," Mac Wellman's mixed-media version of Bierce's life and works, debuts in New York.
2003 — A Much Misunderstood Man: Selected Letters of Ambrose Bierce, edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH).
2003 — Graphic Classics issues an illustrated collection of Bierce stories in comic-strip form by more than 40 such artists, such as Gahan Wilson.
Jun 21, 2003 — Premier of a new film version of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Ann Arbor, Michigan. Directed by Brian James Egen.
Nov 6, 2003 — Dedication of the first formal recognition of Ambrose Bierce: a marker on the grounds of Eastern High School, Route 7, Meigs County, Ohio, near his birth place. Earlier, a plaque was placed at the close by historic Chester Courthouse to honor Bierce.
Aug 2004 — Retired priest James Lienert erects a gravestone to Bierce in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, Mexico, where Lienert draws upon local lore to theorize Bierce is buried in the local cemetery.
Mar 2005 — Principal photography completed on Mike Barton's independent short film "The Eyes of the Panther," based on a Bierce short story.
Oct 2005 — Don Maxwell's short film version of Bierce's "One Kind of Officer," scheduled for release in 2006, is previewed in Kansas City.
Oct 2005 — Cover story, Civil War Times.
May 2006 — Tobe Hooper tapped to direct Bierce's "The Damned Thing" for Showtime cable network, which airs in October.
September 2006 — Premier in Kansas City of Don Maxwell's three-part film, "Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories."
January 2007 — The Short Fiction of Ambrose Bierce, a monumental three-volume work published by the University of Tennessee Press. Edited by S.T. Joshi, Lawrence I. Berkove, David E. Schultz. First comprehensive collection of Bierce's short fiction 1868-1910.
2007 — Leon Day publishes (on The Ambrose Bierce Site) the near book-length story of his effort to find the grave of Ambrose Bierce.
September 2007 — Production begins on Mauriel Joslyn's film adaptation of Bierce's short story "Horseman in the Sky."
March 2008 — Production completed of Leor Baum's short film based on the Ambrose Bierce story "The Moonlit Road."
March 2008 — Performance at Western Michigan University of composer Samuel Douglas' "Bierce Songs: Definitions from the Devil's Dictionary."
2009 — Jan Freeman publishes the first annotated and deciphered version of Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right.
October-December 2009 — Ambrose Bierce: Tales and Times. Theatrical performance by the Lincoln Square Theater, Chicago.
March 2010 — Actor Johnny Depp produces a music-video, "Unloveable," based on "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Performed by Stephen Jones of the British rock band Babybird.
2011 — The first definitive account of Bierce's relationship with H.L. Mencken, "Ambrose and Henry" by Don Swaim, fills the entire spring issue of the quarterlyMenckeniana, published by the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore.
September 2011 — The Library of America publishes: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, & Memoirs, edited by S.T. Joshi
April 2013 — The Centipede Press publishes: Ambrose Bierce: Masters of the Weird Tale, edited by S.T. Joshi, illustrated by Jason C. Eckhardt, a 560-page collection of Bierce's best Civil War and supernatural tales. January 9, 2014 — The Ambrose Bierce Site succumbs to social pressure and launches a Bierce Facebook Group to replace its old message board, and after nine months attracts 250 members.

Compiled by Don Swaim

The primary sources for this chronology consisted of Ambrose Bierce: A Biography by Carey McWilliams (Albert and Charles Boni 1929); Bitter Bierce by C. Hartley Grattan (Doubleday, Doran) 1929; Life of Ambrose Bierce by Walter Neale (Walter Neale, Publisher) 1929; Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Lexicographer by Paul Fatout (University of Oklahoma Press) 1951; Letters of Ambrose Bierce, The edited by Bertha Clark Pope (Gordian Press) 1967; Ambrose Bierce: A Biography by Richard O'Connor (Victor Gollancz 1968); Ambrose Bierce: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schulz (Greenwood Press 1999). 


Ambrose Bierce by Soucle Campbell


Bierce was considered a master of pure English by his contemporaries, and virtually everything that came from his pen was notable for its judicious wording and economy of style. He wrote in a variety of literary genres.
His short stories are held among the best of the 19th century, providing a popular following based on his roots. He wrote realistically of the terrible things he had seen in the war in such stories as "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", "The Boarded Window", "Killed at Resaca", and "Chickamauga".
In addition to his ghost and war stories, he also published several volumes of poetry. His Fantastic Fables anticipated the ironic style ofgrotesquerie that became a more common genre in the 20th century.
One of Bierce's most famous works is his much-quoted book, The Devil's Dictionary, originally an occasional newspaper item which was first published in book form in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book. It consists of satirical definitions of English words which lampoon cantand political double-talk.
Under the entry "leonine", meaning a single line of poetry with an internal rhyming scheme, he included an apocryphal couplet written by the fictitious "Bella Peeler Silcox" (i.e. Ella Wheeler Wilcox) in which an internal rhyme is achieved in both lines only by mispronouncing the rhyming words:
The electric light invades the dunnest deep of Hades.
Cries Pluto, 'twixt his snores: "O tempora! O mores!"
Bierce's twelve-volume Collected Works were published in 1909, the seventh volume of which consists solely of The Devil's Dictionary, the title Bierce himself preferred to The Cynic's Word Book.


In October 1913 Bierce, then aged 71, departed Washington, D.C., for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields. By December he had proceeded through Louisiana and Texas, crossing by way of El Paso into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution. In Ciudad Juárez he joined Pancho Villa's army as an observer, and in that role he witnessed the Battle of Tierra Blanca.
Bierce is known to have accompanied Villa's army as far as the city of Chihuahua. His last known communication with the world was a letter he wrote there to Blanche Partington, a close friend, dated December 26, 1913.[12][13] After closing this letter[14] by saying, "As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination," he vanished without a trace, becoming one of the most famous disappearances in American literary history. Skeptic Joe Nickell, however, argued in his book Ambrose Bierce Is Missing and Other Historical Mysteries (1992) that such a letter had never been found. All that existed was a notebook belonging to his secretary and companion, Ms. Carrie Christiansen – containing a rough summary of a purported letter and her statement that the originals had been destroyed.
Oral tradition in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, documented by the priest James Lienert, states that Bierce was executed by a firing squad in the town cemetery there.[15] Again, Nickell (1992) finds this story to be rather incredible. He quotes Bierce's friend and biographer Walter Neale as saying that in 1913, Bierce had not ridden for quite some time, was suffering from serious asthma, and had been severely critical of Pancho Villa. Neale concludes that it would have been highly unlikely for Bierce to have gone to Mexico and joined up with Villa.
However, all investigations into his fate have proven fruitless, and Nickell concedes that despite a lack of hard evidence that Bierce had gone to Mexico, there is also none that he had not. Therefore, despite an abundance of theories (including death by suicide), his end remains shrouded in mystery.


• The Fiend's Delight (1873) (novella)
• Cobwebs from an Empty Skull (1874) (short story collection)
• The Dance of Death (with Thomas Arundel Harcourt and William Rulofson, as William Herman) (1877) (satyric work)
• Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (1891) (short story collection)
• Black Beetles in Amber (1892) (poetry)
• The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter (1892) (with Adolphe De Castro) (novella)
• Can Such Things Be? (1893) (short story collection)
• Fantastic Fables (1899) (short story collection)
• The shadow on the dial, and other essays (1909) (nonfiction)
• The Devil's Dictionary (1911) (first published in book form as The Cynic's Wordbook, 1906) (nonfiction)
• Collected Works (1909) (short story collection)
• Write It Right (1909) (nonfiction)
• A Horseman in the Sky, A Watcher by the Dead, The Man and the Snake (1920) (tales)
• A Vision of Doom: Poems by Ambrose Bierce (1980) (poetry)

• The Haunted Valley (1871)
• An Unfinished Race (1873)
• An Inhabitant of Carcosa (1887)
• Four Days in Dixie
• One of the Missing (1888)
• The Boarded Window (1891)
• Chickamauga (1891)
• The Eyes of the Panther (1891)
• Haita the Shepherd (1891)
• The Man and the Snake (1891)
• The Middle Toe of the Right Foot (1891)
• An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1891)
• The Suitable Surrounding (1891)
• A Tough Tussle (1891)
• A Watcher by the Dead (1891)
• An Adventure at Brownville (with Ina Lillian Peterson)(1893)
• A Baby Tramp (1893)
• Bodies of the Dead (1893)
• The Death of Halpin Frayser (1893)
• The famous Gilson bequest (1893)
• John Bartine's Watch (1893)
• The Night-Doings at "Deadman's" (1893)
• A Psychological Shipwreck (1893)
• The Realm of the Unreal (1893)
• The Secret of Macarger's Gulch (1893)
• The Damned Thing (1894)
• A Vine on a House (1905)
• The Moonlit Road (1907)[20]
• The Time the Moon Fought Back (1911)
. Beyond the Wall (1909)
. A Diagnosis of Death (1909)
. A Jug of Sirup (1909)
. Moxon's Master (1909)
. Staley Fleming's Hallucination (1909)
. The Stranger (1909)
. The Way of Ghosts (1909)
. The Affair at Coulter's Notch
. An Affair of Outposts
. The Applicant
. An Arrest
. The Baptism of Dobsho
. A Bottomless Grave
. The City of the Gone Away
. The Coup de Grace
. The Crime at Pickett's Mill (1888)
. Curried Cow
. The Failure of Hope and Wandel
. George Thurston
. A Holy Terror
. A Horseman in the Sky
. The Hypnotist
. An Imperfect Conflagration
. The Ingenious Patriot
. Jo. Dunfer. Done for
. John Mortonson's Funeral
. Jupiter Doke, brigadier-general
. Killed at Resaca
. An Heiress from Redhorse
. The Little Story
. The Major's Tale
. The Man Out of the Nose
          .The Mocking-Bird
. The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter (with Adolphe De Castro)
. Three and One Are One
. Mr Swiddler's Flip-Flap
. My Favourite Murder
. Mysterious Disappearances
. Oil of Dog
. One Kind of Officer
. One of Twins
. One Officer, One Man
. One Summer Night
. Parker Adderson, Philosopher
. Perry Chumly's Eclipse
. A Providential Intimation
. The Race at Left Bower
. A Resumed Identity
. Revenge
. A Revolt of the Gods
. Some Haunted Houses
. A Son of the Gods
. The Story of a Conscience
. The Tail of the Sphinx
. Visions of the Night
. The Widower Turmore

Source: Wikipedia

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