Talk:O. Henry

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Could someone start compiling the O. Henry stories that already have articles on Wikipedia?[edit]

The stories need to be organized and put together in some form -- either as a list on this article, or as a Category, or as a navbox, or all three. Thanks. Softlavender (talk) 07:34, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Category:Short stories by O.Henry has existed since January 2011. I just now added it as a category to this article. Maile66 (talk) 21:36, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I created {{O. Henry}} as a navbox. HueSatLum 20:21, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I have A Pocket Book of Short Stories where it's got A Municipal Report by O. Henry, but then in the Collected Stories of O.Henry Unabridged and Illustrated, it does not have this story in it. What will constitute a short story and what will not for the list? BTW, in Collected Stories the cataloging page in the front says the "more than 200 stories [are] arranged in chronological order of publication."Kristinwt (talk) 02:35, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


I note that this page is marked for being short on citations and for being in need of improvement. I can understand why. Until I edited it, it failed to even note that the U.S. Postal Service has recently commemorated O. Henry's birthday with a postage stamp. Nor did it mention President Obama's quoting of O. Henry. The entry is, indeed, a train wreck.

On the other hand, like many Wikki pages, there is a jerk (Deor) who is willing to keep the page in a state of intellectual poverty, because he has the time to edit and no compulsion against slandering what he does not like as "unconstructive" and "vandalism." The page is full of unsourced material and he has done nothing about that. It is people like him, of course, who keep this page in the poor state that it is in, and give Wikipedia the reputation that it has.

I am willing to provide expertise and documentation, substance to the page. But only for a little while. If this jerk is going to simply gnaw everything back to the sorry state that the page is in (and has been, for some time, under his supervision), I am out. Have other things to do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

  • For anyone thinking I am being overly harsh, Deon actually edited "political science" to read "political-science." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I have to add that this seems to be the case, this "DEOR" is blocking all edits and seems to like the page full of inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and general "intellectual poverty." Convicious (talk) 20:07, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

O'Henry article -- his time in New York City[edit]

Hi Folks:

This is in regards to your article on American auther O'Henry.

I am not sure if this info would be considered relevant.

However: Pete's Tavern, on the south-east corner of Irving Pl. and E. 18th St. in New York, New York, has a table at the rear of the seating area on the south-east side with a bronze placque commerating the fact that O'Henry sat there while he wrote many of his stories.

I have not been there since the early 1980's, so I don't remember exactly what the placque says. Maybe it would be possible for someone to photograph it.

Just so you know that someone else knows about this, see Mathew Boyd's comment of eight months ago at:

Thank you. I'm not sure this is the correct way to introduce new material to Wikipedia, and I don't intend to do this very frequently.

Steven (talk) 01:27, 3 December 2013 (UTC)Steven

Cabbages and Kings[edit]

New stub Cabbages and Kings (literature) says it's a novel, dab page and this article suggest short story collection: could someone have a look? Thanks. PamD 07:46, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

What one calls it depends on how one looks at it. This article's "series of stories each of which explores some individual aspect of life in a paralytically sleepy Central American town, while advancing some aspect of the larger plot and relating back one to another" seems as good a description as any. There are certainly sources that refer to it as a novel (usually "his only novel"); there are also sources that refer to it as a collection of interlinked short stories. The new article certainly could stand being expanded to explain this—among other things—and wouldn't the title "Cabbages and Kings (book)" be more in line with usage elsewhere on WP than the current title? Deor (talk) 09:27, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

It's actually a short-story cycle, which many people erroneously consider to be a novel. Convicious (talk) 18:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

The Iconoclast[edit]

Didn't he buy that paper from Brann in Austin, and sell it back to him a few years later? There is nothing about it here, or any indication if he continued Brann's sulphurous style of writing. (talk) 07:16, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so, no. Si Trew (talk) 21:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

A twist in the tale[edit]

Well, O. Henry would smirk, I think. I was rereading his short stories in a collected edition – a regular band of misfits if I ever saw them penned – when I got across my an idea that the old fellow (using a different name) used to live in Austin, Texas. I could swear it was the same fellow, because I have gone to see his house there, quite a travel from where I lived in Houston: and impressive is precisely the word to describe it, if you are familiar with Texan inexactitude.

Now, meandering about the bush, I was re-reading O. Henry's short stories (he wrote them quicker than my train journey takes) and in doing so, in my edition, there is on page 146 the expression "Poor white trash" in the story "Shoes". It took me aback, I grant you, for it is in no dictionary that I know of, and I have the heaviest and deepest ones, which I generally keep under the kitchen table, Webstsers on the northwest leg and Oxford at the occidental.

Forgive me for trying to impersonate O Henry's style, which is impossible. But this could be the earliest reference, and he is using it as a common term – which is what dictionary makers love. So I record it. Si Trew (talk) 20:57, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

The first citation recorded in the Dictionary of American Regional English is from 1833: "The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, which they designate as 'poor white trash'." There are a few other 19th-century citations, which, taken together, allow one to conclude that (1) the expression clearly antedates O. Henry's usage by a number of years and (2) the expression originated among Southern slaves, who thought that poor white folk were worse off than they were. Deor (talk) 21:26, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be such a section? Surely there must be lots of film or literary adaptations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The film O. Henry's Full House is mentioned in the "Legacy" section; but, in general, individual adaptations should be listed in articles about the stories themselves, as in The Gift of the Magi#Adaptations. Deor (talk) 02:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Given names at birth[edit]

For a long time the article has said that O.H. was born William Sidney Porter (with "Sidney" also being his father's middle name) and that he later changed the spelling of "Sidney" to "Sydney". Now at least one editor has been wanting to use "Sydney" rather than "Sidney" in mentions of his birth name, and even in reporting his father's full name. That O.H.'s given names were originally "William Sidney" is supported by a number of sources, including the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, as is the fact that his father's given names were "Algernon Sidney". Anyone who can cite any reliable sources stating that O.H. was christened William Sydney Porter or that his father's name was Algernon Sydney Porter should adduce them here; otherwise, I will continue to revert such edits. Deor (talk) 21:01, 23 June 2016 (UTC)