The Rabble Discuss Cabell: James Branch Cabell &c

This group is named after the mnemonic the author produced to indicate the correct pronunciation of his surname: ‘Tell the rabble my name is Cabell.’ He first made his name (but not much money) as a writer of romantic but droll short stories and novels. He had an artistic breakthrough with the anti-romantic dream-romance The Cream of the Jest (1917), but it was not until Jurgen (1919) was tried for obscenity that he suffered an explosion of popularity and became one of the most lionized literary figures of the 1920s. This phenomenon culminated in the publication of his collected works in the 18-volume Storisende edition (1927-1930) in which he arranged his fantasies and his now-revised-to-fit earlier works into the ‘Biography of the Life of Manuel,’ Manuel being the leading character in Figures of Earth (1921) and the progenitor of many of Cabell’s male characters down through the fictional centuries. However, after about 1930 the Great Depression and creeping modernism led to a reaction against Cabell’s supposedly effete approach to literature; and although he continued to produce fiction and nonfiction of merit until his death in the 1950s he was almost forgotten as a literary figure.

In the 1960s he experienced somewhat of a revival in the wake of the great popularity of The Lord of the Rings, when the demand for something, anything, remotely like Tolkien caused obscure works of merit by Cabell, Dunsany, Peake, Eddison, Morris and other early fantasists to be reprinted (and several Cabell societies to be formed and scholarly journals published). But the rabble soon discovered these writers to be not very Hobbitish, and, the demand satisfied by eighth-rate Tolkien clones, Cabell receded again into the relative obscurity wherein now he bides and all we mourn for. Nonetheless, James Branch Cabell continues to find favor with the more enlightened fans of fantasy and esoteric literature, with collectors, and with lovers of his droll, highly polished manner. The eternal author stands, tongue in cheek, sword (ahem) in hand, awaiting our judgment.

UPDATE January 2013 -- Check out the new James Branch Cabell website-in-progress, The Silver Stallion at http://www.silverstallion.karkeeweb.com/cabellmain.html . It's an offshoot of discussions that started right here on The Rabble Discuss Cabell.

TopicTopicMessagesLast Message 
Cabell reference in science fiction story9 unread / 9absurdeist, April 16
Cameo appearances of Cabell's Books in the Books of other Authors35 unread / 35paradoxosalpha, April 15
Celebrating JBC's birthday at Good Show Sir3 unread / 3paradoxosalpha, April 14
1907 Article on Cabell4 unread / 4dscottn, April 6
Happy Anniversary!13 unread / 13elenchus, February 16
Cabell Bargains91 unread / 91elenchus, February 9
3201 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia8 unread / 8dscottn, February 8
German ballad (1907) about a knight called Manuel32 unread / 32wirkman, January 1
Cabell Editions28 unread / 28dscottn, December 2020
Cabell Comics?16 unread / 16dscottn, December 2020
"The Vampire," a First Story by Cabell6 unread / 6dscottn, December 2020
The Certain Hour29 unread / 29Crypto-Willobie, December 2020
Favorite Cabell Illustrations8 unread / 8dscottn, December 2020
My Fellow Cabellians15 unread / 15Crypto-Willobie, November 2020
Cabell's Heirs?51 unread / 51elenchus, November 2020
This just in ...8 unread / 8Crypto-Willobie, October 2020
Good Show BAF!4 unread / 4paradoxosalpha, October 2020
Use or abuse?3 unread / 3elenchus, September 2020
VCU >> JBC3 unread / 3elenchus, February 2020
The Economics of...4 unread / 4Crypto-Willobie, January 2020
Ian Wallace9 unread / 9elenchus, January 2020
How many?11 unread / 11elenchus, January 2020
Storisende complete 18 volume set for sale1 unread / 1rahkahuna, December 2019
Happy 100th birthday Jurgen!2 unread / 2Crypto-Willobie, September 2019
fix-ups7 unread / 7elenchus, July 2019
Story of the Month5 unread / 5Crypto-Willobie, July 2019
Order to read Cabell24 unread / 24wirkman, May 2019
A new work by Mr. Cabell? sneak preview...7 unread / 7Crypto-Willobie, May 2019
Harrowby’s occult cosmology7 unread / 7wirkman, May 2019
19th anniversary of this essay - Cabell, Heinlein esoteric tradition, etc4 unread / 4Crypto-Willobie, May 2019
Favorite Account of Cabell by Someone Not Cabell17 unread / 17Crypto-Willobie, May 2019
Happy Walpurgisnacht, April 30. Jurgen's journey begins...5 unread / 5Crypto-Willobie, April 2019
Rogues’ Gallery9 unread / 9wirkman, February 2019
Cabell Library13 unread / 13John_Thorne, February 2019
Books Cabell has "blurbed" or introduced34 unread / 34Crypto-Willobie, February 2019
Cabell and Religion8 unread / 8wirkman, February 2019
Cabell quote - hivemind?8 unread / 8wirkman, February 2019
Story of the Month for Jan 20193 unread / 3absurdeist, February 2019
Beyond Life16 unread / 16Crypto-Willobie, January 2019
Cabell t-shirt7 unread / 7Crypto-Willobie, January 2019
Music Behind the Moon5 unread / 5elenchus, January 2019
“Geas”11 unread / 11wirkman, January 2019
Townsend of Lichfield9 unread / 9Crypto-Willobie, January 2019
Collecting the Biography8 unread / 8Crypto-Willobie, January 2019
Occultists adulate Cabell5 unread / 5paradoxosalpha, December 2018
Zadig9 unread / 9wirkman, December 2018
Story of the Month for May 2018 - The Image of Sesphra3 unread / 3Crypto-Willobie, September 2018
Happy 100th Anniversary! / July Story of the Month5 unread / 5elenchus, July 2018
The White Robe is being read over on LT group 'The Weird Tradition'4 unread / 4wirkman, May 2018
Story of the Month, April 2018 - The Head of Misery5 unread / 5elenchus, April 2018
Story of the Month, March 2018. The Feathers of Olrun3 unread / 3elenchus, March 2018
New books by Cabell?3 unread / 3lansingsexton, March 2018
Cabell Story of the Month11 unread / 11elenchus, March 2018
Cabell overstock for sale4 unread / 4elenchus, January 2018
Cabell @ 'A Shiver in the Archives' blog2 unread / 2elenchus, December 2017
Characterizing Cabell4 unread / 4Crypto-Willobie, December 2017
Changes and Additions to James Hall's Cabell Bibliography1 unread / 1Crypto-Willobie, December 2017
Special Delivery (screening the mail)8 unread / 8elenchus, November 2017
Great grandfather's Cabell collection20 unread / 20elenchus, November 2017
The Dream Women11 unread / 11wirkman, June 2017
"What's New" at The Silver Stallion: The James Branch Cabell Website34 unread / 34rainlights, March 2017
Three fled before them, screaming15 unread / 15rainlights, March 2017
Sixteen Authors to One7 unread / 7elenchus, February 2017
An Important Cabellian Centenary6 unread / 6elenchus, January 2017
James Branch Cabell in Anthologies3 unread / 3Crypto-Willobie, December 2016
Association copies16 unread / 16vaniamk13, September 2016
high place8 unread / 8Crypto-Willobie, July 2016
The Devil's Own Dear Son4 unread / 4elenchus, May 2016
Passel of Cabell12 unread / 12elenchus, May 2016
Happy Birthday, JBC3 unread / 3rainlights, April 2016
Yet newer Cabell links at VCU's Cabell Library!2 unread / 2elenchus, March 2016
Distressing Damsels5 unread / 5rainlights, January 2016
Opera or Movie?3 unread / 3Crypto-Willobie, January 2016
Cabell's Three Modes of Romantic Life4 unread / 4elenchus, October 2015
The Few Who Love Cabell14 unread / 14rainlights, June 2015
How to find Cabell?28 unread / 28lansingsexton, June 2015
Passing of Kalki editor Paul Spencer4 unread / 4elenchus, April 2015
Ideational gonfalon6 unread / 6Crypto-Willobie, December 2014
Copyright status of Papé's plates13 unread / 13Crypto-Willobie, December 2014
Recent JBC Reprints?8 unread / 8Crypto-Willobie, December 2014
Some Cabell blogposts on the "SFF Chronicles: science fiction & fantasy community forums"2 unread / 2elenchus, December 2014
Introducing James Branch Cabell16 unread / 16elenchus, November 2014
Kalki: Studies in James Branch Cabell - tables of contents19 unread / 19Crypto-Willobie, November 2014
Silver Stallion to the Rescue2 unread / 2Crypto-Willobie, October 2014
Cabell Bargains4 unread / 4Crypto-Willobie, July 2014
Cabell reviews15 unread / 15Crypto-Willobie, July 2014
New Cabell pages on the Virginia Commonwealth University website3 unread / 3DCBlack, May 2014
Facebook Cabell Group15 unread / 15rainlights, April 2014
Cabell in Correspondence3 unread / 3absurdeist, March 2014
Favorite Cabell Quotations?13 unread / 13Crypto-Willobie, January 2014
Harper's Magazine4 unread / 4wirkman, January 2014
Recommendations15 unread / 15DCBlack, November 2013
The Question of Genre5 unread / 5paradoxosalpha, October 2013
Ecben and the Witch-Women (and a pendant)10 unread / 10elenchus, October 2013
Cabell Anniversary - Sept 1913 - Sept 20135 unread / 5DCBlack, September 2013
New LT Review of Jurgen5 unread / 5Crypto-Willobie, July 2013
recommendation for a story?7 unread / 7elenchus, March 2013
Illustrated Cabell Bibliography21 unread / 21leoden, January 2013
Dedicated to JBC4 unread / 4Crypto-Willobie, December 2012
Additions and Corrections to James N. Hall’s A Bibliography of James Branch Cabell8 unread / 8John_Thorne, September 2012
This is a feature balloon