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Old 11-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
BenG
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Cabell, James Branch: Jurgen, v1.0, 9 Nov, 2007

Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice is a 1919 fantasy book by James Branch Cabell - the eighth among some fifty-two books written by this author - which gained fame (or notoriety, in the view of some) shortly after its publication.

The eponymous hero, who considers himself a "monstrous clever fellow", embarks on a journey through ever more fantastic realms, even to hell and heaven. Everywhere he goes, he winds up seducing the local women, even the Devil's wife.

The novel was denounced by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice; they attempted to bring a prosecution for obscenity. The case went on for two years before Cabell and his publishers won: the "indecencies" were double entendres that also had a perfectly decent interpretation, though it appeared that what had actually offended the prosecution most was a joke about papal infallibility. As a result Jurgen has never been out of print.

Robert A. Heinlein self-consciously patterned his best-known novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, after Jurgen, and the title and themes of his 1984 novel Job: A Comedy of Justice also show Cabell's influence.


Cabell's The Cream of the Jest is also available on Mobile Read.
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