James Branch Cabell (1879-1956) is best known for his tales of the imaginary land of Poictesme, where chivalry and galantry live on. All of CabellâEUR(TM)s works from before 1930 (including The Cords of Vanity, an otherwise âEURoemainstreamâEUR¿
novel) were assembled into the grand âEURoeBiography of the Life of Manuel,âEUR¿ the supposed redeemer of the land of Poictesme, and they form a series which follows Manuel and his descendants through the centuries.
Cabell has been a favorite author of many famous writers, raniging from Lin Carter to Robert A. Heinlein.
THE CORDS OF VANITY
Introduction by Wilson Follett
âEURoeMr. Cabell gives an airy chronicle of the love affairs of his hero, Robert Townsend, who has adopted âEURoeinfancyâEUR¿ as a profession, and never gets out of boyhood. Townsend is also one of the
self-hypnotized persons who, in the moment of saying it, believes everything that he says, and thus romances alluringly of himself with no regard to the fetters of factâEUR"truly a captivating liar. In this âEURoehigher carelessnessâEUR¿ all his contradictions and repetitions are merged into a fine unity. By playing at emotion so long he finally breaks down the inward integrities, so that he is not able to realize when he is acting a part and when he is sincere. And his sin overtakes him in the circumstance that, having played at love so long, he finally is not able to love anybody in reality.âEUR¿
âEUR"Edwin Markham, in N. Y. American