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date: 15 June 2024

Henry, O.locked

Henry, O.locked

  • Robert M. Dowling

Extract

Short-story writer William Sydney Porter, popularly known by his pseudonym O. Henry, has been an international household name since the first decade of the twentieth century. He is most famous for inventing the O. Henry Twist, a quirky plot contrivance that delighted audiences with a surprise ending in the last few lines of each tale. Although his stories have been translated into dozens of languages and reprinted and anthologized hundreds of times, literary critics have found his fiction of little artistic worth. As a result, his stories are rarely taught above the eighth-grade level. During his most prolific years, however, from approximately 1903 to 1907, O. Henry was compared to the most noted European authors of his time—Guy de Maupassant, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few. His stories continue to enchant reading audiences worldwide, which is an achievement unmatched by any American from the period save Mark Twain

Subjects

  • North American Literatures

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