9781883011703 / 1883011701

Henry James: Complete Stories 1864-1874 (Library of America)


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Publisher:Library of America, 1999



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About the book:

For the first time in 30 years, the Master's complete stories are again available--in a handsome, authoritative collector's edition

With this fifth and final volume of The Library of America's historic new edition, Henry James's world-famous stories are again available in their entirety.

Complete Stories 1864-1874 brings together his first 24 published stories, 13 never collected by James. Here are the first explorations of some of James's most significant themes: the force of social convention and the compromises it demands; the complex and often ambiguous encounter between Europe and America; the energies of human passion measured against the rigors of artistic discipline. Encompassing a wide range of subjects, settings, and formal techniques, these stories show the young James exploring contemporary events, as in three stories that treat the effects of the Civil War on civilians, and exhibiting his famous psychological acuity, as in "Guest's Confession," where the ferociously comic portrayal of an arrogant businessman hints at the narcissism and sadism that motivate him. Early examples of James's lifelong fascination with art and artists include "A Landscape Painter," which explores a young painter's distorted attraction to a family living in a desolate coastal town, and "The Madonna of the Future," where an aging artist avoids the inevitable unveiling of his "masterpiece." Adumbrating later triumphs, and compelling in their own right, the stories in this volume reveal an accomplished young talent mastering the art of the short story.

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