Cyclopedia of World Authors

Cyclopedia of World Authors

Cyclopedia of World Authors

Cyclopedia of World Authors

Excerpt

The storyteller has held a unique place in human society since earliest times. His ability to offer entertainment, diversion, or inspiration to his less imaginative fellows has earned for him, or at least for his work, a permanent place in the cultural record of his time. Such a member of the community is usually endowed with an irrepressible impulse which causes his powers of expression to burst their bounds and reveal to all who will listen the story that has taken shape in the recesses of his perceptive being where experience, emotion, and imagination meet and merge.

When these stories spring from an insight and a perception so true and lifelike that they convey abiding human characteristics, they are usually repeated from generation to generation until they blend into the culture they represent.

The Cyclopedia of World Authors considers the lives and the works of more than seven hundred fifty creative individuals who have contributed or who are still contributing to the sum total of man's appraisal of himself. These seven hundred fifty authors are the writers represented in the First and Second Series of Masterpieces of World Literature in Digest Form and also those who will appear in the Third Series in progress.

A work of this scope and importance could not be accomplished adequately without an enormous amount of aid from scores of scholars who have devoted their lives to research and deduction, and to critical appraisal of the individual writers and their literary achievements. It has been our good fortune to have the assistance of many of the world's foremost experts, scholars who prepared special articles for this book based on intimate acquaintance with the subjects' lives and their creative efforts. More than seventy-five special writers contributed the seven hundred fifty articles included in the Cyclopedia, all the material herein being newly written expressly for this publication. Most of these contributors are listed elsewhere in this volume under "Special Writers and Consultants" and "Additional Contributors and Their Affiliations. . . ."

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