One of the classic American fantasy novels, Figures of Earth
of many works set in Cabell's universe, a pseudo-medieval world with
a lot of fantastic props. The story describes the life of Manuel, a
swineherd of divine birth who rises to become a legendary hero and ruler.
His adventures are told with a down-to-earth, pragmatic humour that verges
on the cynical, and interspersed with short philosophical ruminations
and poetical excursions, mostly on such things as the nature of love,
relations between the sexes and personal commitments and journeys.
None of these are, however, allowed to distract from the story, and
everything is undercut by the humour; Cabell certainly doesn't take
himself too seriously.
I enjoyed Figures of Earth a lot; its humour was so enjoyably
sophisticated that I had to check that the author really was an
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