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Cobwebs from an Empty Skull is a collection of short fables and stories written under Bierce's pseudonym, Dod Grile, and although one of his earliest published books, it still displays the wit and cynicism which colors his writing. The book is divided into three sections: "Fables of Zambri, the Parsee," an assortment of over 100 fables; "Brief Seasons of Intellectual Dissipation," discussions between a fool and a philosopher, a doctor and a soldier, respectively; and "Divers Tales," 28 different stories of an eclectic nature, including The Grateful Bear, Dr. Deadwood, I Presume, Mrs. Dennison's Head, and Jim Beckwourth's Pond.
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 - 1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. He wrote the short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and compiled a satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary. His vehemence as a critic, his motto "Nothing matters" and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work, all earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce."