CHAPTER V AMERICAN AUTHORS OF THE XXth CENTURY 'O.HENRY (1862-1910) : O.Henry is one of the bestknown short-story writers of our century. His real name was William Sidney Porter. He was born in East Carolina, an eastern State of the U.S.A. He tried several professions before taking up journalism. He used the pen-name of O.Henry - from the name of the captain of the prison guard, Orrin Henry. When he was released from prison, he went to New York. The city with its four million inhabitants suggested so many olots to him that sometimes he wrote as many as seven stories .a month."Cabbages and Kings", the first of his volumes of short stories, appeared in 1904. He was the author of about three hundred short stories. The best of these were published in the books: "Cabbages and Kings" (1904), "The Four Million" (1906), "Heart of the West" (1907), "The Trimmed Lamp" (1907), The Voice of the City" (1903)/The Gentle Grafter" (1908), "Roads of Destiny" (1909), ."Options" (1909), "Strictly Business" (1910), Whirligigs" (1910). Some collections of his short.-stories .were issued after O.Henry's death; "Sixes and Sevens" (1911), "Rolling Stones" (1913), "Walls and Strays” (1917). The works of O.Henry reflect a specific period in American literature - the turn of the century. O.Henry occupies an intermediate position between the critical tendency in literature and that of the "genteel tradition" in the neoromantic trend. His credo, was: art should be true, democratic, it should address contemporary life and should embrace all aspects of life. G.Henry was an cuisianuino riunricrist.'Hc vvcrKecl cut ano enriched all the various types of the short story: the anecdote, the monologue, the dialogue, the grotesque, satirican and paradoxical; the adventure story, the psychological stony, the oarody; poems in prose, tales and sketches. O.Henry could work out a plot that would keep the reader in suspense up to the surprising turn at the end. He was a born reporter of great talent; his-quickeye-and mind took in "local colour", humorous situations, little specific signs that might reveal a whole character. The conversation is slangy,- witty, humorous, sometimes exaggerated but often unexpectedly exact and precise. The backgrounds of all these elements are varied, the details impressive, the style "snappy". All this O.Henry bent to one purpose: to give the reader a shock of surprise at the end. O".Henry planned every detail of his stories with a sureness that seldom failed, and he always gave much thought to his titles. His narration is invariably ironic or playful. He uses metaphors often but only for the purpose of disconcerting or amazing the reader with the unexpectedness of the comparison, and make a surprise of a literary nature.