The Devil’s Dictionary

This is a book that Weelsha lent me some time ago, and the truth is that I took my time to read it, hehe. She won it in a contest in the now extinct Angst Club, the same night I got my Luna de Miel en el Espacio ES .

El Diccionario del Diablo Original title: The Devil’s Dictionary. Spanish title: El Diccionario del Diablo. Author: Ambrose Bierce (USA, 1842). Year: 1911. Genre: Satire. Language: English. Read in: Spanish. Translation: Eduardo Stilman. Publisher: Valdemar - El Club Diógenes. Pages: 288. Size: ISBN: 84-7702-159-7.


Plot outline As its title says, it’s a dictionary, so it has no plot, hehe.

Comment without spoilers The book is a compilation of satirical definitions of words Ambrose Bierce originally published in diverse newspapers he worked in. Those definitions are very critical with sensitive aspects of the society, such as religion, politics, journalism and the behaviors of men and women, so nearly everything is touched by this book.

This is the second work I read from Bierce, being the first one his short story named An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, which appears in the book Siete Relatos Góticos: Del Papel a la Pantalla ES I commented some months ago, and I have to say that I liked this dictionary more than the short story.

Eduardo Stilman has done a great effort with the translation, and despite the difficulties of doing a good job because all the word games of the original text, he got a fantastic result. Even so, I think that if you have the chance to read it in English, you’ll be more satisfied.

The edition by Valdemar, in its El Club Diógenes series is very good, despite being a cheap pocket edition. The details are very taken care of, the book is robust and the printing has a fine quality.

Definitely, my opinion is that this is a great book, but if you try to read it like a normal book, it can be too dense, so I think it’s better to read it sporadically. Very recommendable to see how much the world has not changed for the past 100 years.

Related links: