James Branch Cabell

James Branch Cabell was a fantasy author at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although not widely known today, in his time his dreamy yet snarky tales of adventure were highly regarded; his popularity declined with the Second World War, because as Alfred Kazin put it, "Cabell and Hitler did not inhabit the same universe." His works were a huge influence on such modern luminaries as Robert Heinlen and Neil Gaiman. Most of his work, including his most famous works "Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice" and the multi-volume "Biography of Manuel", are available at Project Gutenberg.

His best known quote is the page quote for several tropes: "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." Although Cabell's surname is often mispronounced "Ka-BELL", he himself pronounced it "CAB-ble." To remind an editor of the correct pronunciation, Cabell composed this rhyme: "Tell the rabble my name is Cabell."