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The Trimmed Lamp, And Other Stories Of The Four Million
by O. Henry
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1923. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was the most popular short story writer of his time. His stories typically revolved around two of his favorite themes, the situation of the impostor and fate as the one unavoidable reality of life. Another device he used was the surprise ending, usually coming about through coincidence. He was the founder of the humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. He was convicted of embezzling money, although there's much debate over his actual guilt, and while in prison he started to write short stories. His first work, Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking appeared in McClure's Magazine. After emerging from prison Porter changed his name to O. Henry. He then moved to New York and wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. His stories deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses and most are set in his contemporary present, the early years of the 20th century. In the title story, The Trimmed Lamp, he offers a sentimental and moralistic portrait of the after-hours lives of young New York working women. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
John walked slowly toward his flat. Slowly, because in the lexicon of his daily life there was no such word as "perhaps." There are no surprises awaiting a man who has been married two years and lives in a flat. As he walked John Perkins prophesied to himself with gloomy and downtrodden cynicism the foregone conclusions of the monotonous day.
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