What Can Be Saved from the Wreckage

Published 31 October 2007
in Philadelphia and Montclair
by Temporary Culture.

Critical monograph examining the writings of Virginia fantasist
James Branch Cabell (1879-1958), author of Jurgen .

6 x 9 inches, viii+56 pp.

First issue, 17 numbered copies hand sewn and bound in a green cloth binding incorporating the original cloth covered boards of the Storisende edition, signed by Michael Swanwick and Barry Humphries, each copy with a leaf signed by James Branch Cabell. By subscription only ; sold out before publication.

Trade issue, 200 copies in paper covers. Available at World Fantasy Convention 2007.
ISBN : 0-9764660-3-1 / ISBN-13 : 978-0-9764660-3-1. Sold out.

An electronic edition is in preparation.

Inquiries to:
Henry Wessells
P.O. Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072 USA
Electronym : wessells@aol.com

What Can Be Saved from the Wreckage ?
James Branch Cabell
in the Twenty-first Century
Michael Swanwick

with a preface
Jurgen Down Under
by Barry Humphries

It is hard to imagine today the magnitude of James Branch Cabell’s fame in the early part of the last century. Cabell’s books were Mark Twain’s chief reading in the great humorist’s declining years. Theodore Roosevelt received him at the White House. The occultist Aleister Crowley harried him with fan letters. H. L. Mencken was his advocate. Sinclair Lewis, accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, mentioned him as one of a number of writers who might reasonably have won it.
Yet he died as good as forgotten.

MICHAEL SWANWICK is author of a monograph on the fantastical literature of Hope Mirrlees. His novels include Bones of the Earth  and In The Drift , and his short story collections include Gravity’s Angels  and The Dog Said Bow-Wow . The front cover, Storisende : collage for Michael Swanwick , forms part of the Catalogue of Unique Works in the Library and Private Collections of Michael Swanwick  (forthcoming).

BARRY HUMPHRIES is an Australian National Treasure, known worldwide for creating the role of Dame Edna.

"movingly intense" —  John Clute, Excessive Candour, SFW  3 Sept 07

"This is the best literary monograph I have read in a long time."
—  Darrell Schweitzer, NYRSF  April 2008

"Swanwick is an engaging critic, and his enthusiasm for what he likes is infectious . . . . There is gold in the past as well as in the present, and it’s nice to have writers like Swanwick point out the treasures."
—  Douglas A. Anderson

"Cabell is a problematic author [. . .] for those interested in learning more about Cabell there can hardly be a better or more readable beginning than Swanwick’s monograph."
—  James Sallis, Fantasy & Science Fiction

"Michael Swanwick has ranged the considerable length . . . of the Cabell oeuvre, and come back with good news about the good stuff to be found there. If, say, the Library of America decides it needs a suitable editor to bring James Branch Cabell into the Black Jacket Club, I know just the man for the job."  
—  Steven Hart, author of The Last Three Miles

". . . a keen eye for Cabell’s wit, inventiveness, and (yes) ribald good humor"
—  Gregory Feeley, Philadelphia Inquirer

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