Cabbages and Kings

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International Business Publications USA, 9 set 2009 - 177 pagine

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Informazioni sull'autore (2009)

O. Henry was the pseudonym of the American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 - June 5, 1910). O. Henry's short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings.

O. Henry is one of the most famous American short story writers. O. Henry's real name was William Sydney porter and he was born in Greensboro. North Carolina on September 11, 1862. At age of 20 (1882) he moved to Texas, where he had various jobs.

He married AtholEstes in 1887; they had a son and a daughter.

His wife died from tuberculosis in 1897.

In 1894 while working for First National Bank in Austin, Porter was accused of stealing $4000. He went to prison in Columbus, Ohio for 3 years eventually.

While in prison porter first started to write short stories and it's believed that he has found his writer's pseudonym there.

After porter was released from the prison in 1901, he changed his name to O. Henry and moved to New York in 1902.

From December 1903 to January 1906 o. Henry wrote a story a week for the New York World magazine, and published several short stories in other magazines.

O. Henry's short stories are famous for their surprise endings and humor.

O. Henry's wrote such classic short stories as The Ransom of Red Chief, "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Furnished Room".

In his last years O. Henry had financial and health problems. An alcoholic, O. Henry died on June 5, 1910 in New York City, virtually broke.

O. Henry's stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an "O. Henry ending." He was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. Both authors wrote twist endings, but O. Henry stories were much more playful and optimistic. His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry's stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City, and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses.

Fundamentally a product' of his time, O. Henry's work provides one of the best examples of catching the entire flavor of an age written in the English language. Whether roaming the cattle-lands of Texas, exploring the art of the "gentle grafter," or investigating the tensions of class and wealth in turn-of-the-century New York, O. Henry had an inimitable hand for isolating some element of society and describing it with an incredible economy and grace of language. Some of his best and least-known work resides in the collection Cabbages and Kings, a series of stories which each explore some individual aspect of life in a paralytically sleepy Central American town while each advancing some aspect of the larger plot and relating back one to another in a complex structure which slowly explicates its own background even as it painstakingly erects a town which is one of the most detailed literary creations of the period.

The Four Million is another collection of stories. It opens with a reference to Ward McAllister's "assertion that there were only `Four Hundred' people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But a wiser man has arisen---the census taker---and his larger estimate of human interest has been preferred in marking out the field of these little stories of the `Four Million.'" To O. Henry, everyone in New York counted. He had an obvious affection for the city, which he called "Bagdad-on-the-Subway," and many of his stories are set there---but others are set in small towns and in other cities.

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