Cabbages and Kings

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Lindhardt og Ringhof, 8 giu 2021 - 151 pagine
‘Cabbages and Kings’ is one of renowned author William Sidney Porter’s most famous collections of short stories. Better known by his literary pseudonym ‘O. Henry’, the collection was inspired by the time he spent hiding out from the US authorities in Honduras. The narrative focuses on the fictional Republic of Anchuria and is a collective tale of corruption and political intrigue. ‘Cabbages and Kings’ is also the source of the now famous and much-used term ‘banana republic’. The title is in reference to the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ from ‘Through the Looking Glass’ by well-known children’s author Lewis Carroll. One of O. Henry’s earliest short story collections, ‘Cabbages and Kings’ offers a fascinating introduction to this much-loved 20th century author. William Sidney Porter (1862-1910) was an American writer best-known for his short stories. Born in North Carolina, Porter moved to Texas in his early twenties where he began his literary career contributing to newspapers and magazines such as ‘The Houston Post’. During this period he also began work at a bank where he was accused of embezzlement, lost his job and was arrested a year later. Growing fearful of his upcoming trial, Porter escaped to New Orleans and then Honduras while on bail, where he hid for several months. It was here that he was inspired to write one of his famous short story collections ‘Cabbages and Kings’. In 1897 Porter returned to the US and was sentenced to five years in prison. He continued to write and had several stories published from prison under various pseudonyms, the most famous of which was ‘O. Henry’ – a name by which he is better known. Upon release Porter moved to New York where his most intense period of writing began, authoring hundreds of short stories mostly for the New York World Sunday Magazine. His witty narration and plot twists made his stories a huge hit with readers, a legacy which endures to this day. Some of his most popular short stories include, ‘The Gift of the Magi’, ‘The Cop and the Anthem’ and ‘The Caballero’s Way’. 1952 film ‘O. Henry’s Full House’ featured five of his short stories and starred Marilyn Monroe and Charles Laughton. Annual American literary prize ‘The O. Henry Award’ was established in his honour in 1919.

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