of fantasy fiction and belles lettres. Cabell was well regarded by his contemporaries, including H. L. Mencken
and Sinclair Lewis
. His works were considered escapist and fit well in the culture of the 1920s, when his works were most popular. For Cabell, veracity was "the one unpardonable sin, not merely against art, but against human welfare." Interest in Cabell declined in the 1930s, a decline that has been attributed in part to his failure to move out of his fantasy niche.
Good and evil keep very exact accounts... and the face of every man is their ledger.
The comedy is always the same. In the first act the hero imagines a place where happiness exists. In the second he strives towards that goal. In the third he comes up short or what amounts to the same thing he achieves his goal only to find that happiness lies a little further down the road.
A book, once it is printed and published, becomes individual. It is by its publication as decisively severed from its author as in parturition a child is cut off from its parent. The book "means" thereafter, perforce, — both grammatically and actually, — whatever meaning this or that reader gets out of it.
Criticism, whatever may be its pretensions, never does more than to define the impression which is made upon it at a certain moment by a work wherein the writer himself noted the impression of the world which he received at a certain hour.
The Terrible and Marvellous History of Manuel Pig-Tender That Afterwards Was Named Manuel the Redeemer.