Warner Berthoff (essay date 1965)
SOURCE: Berthoff, Warner. The Ferment of Realism: American Literature, 1884-1919. New York: The Free Press, 1965.
[In the following excerpt, Berthoff provides a brief overview of Ambrose Bierce's short stories and compares his short fiction to that of Edgar Allan Poe.]
Ambrose Bierce … has maintained a curious kind of underground reputation, less as a maker of books than as a personal legend, a minority saint for the cynical and disenchanted. (A passion for taut, precise, desentimentalizing English is a special part of this legend.) Growing up into the holocaust of the Civil War, in which he served with honor and was badly wounded, he became a writer whose voice and...
(The entire section is 658 words.)