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Library of America Complete Stories of Henry James

John Hollander and Henry James
Henry James: Complete Stories Vol. 4 1892-1898 (LOA #82) by Henry James
Henry James: Complete Stories Vol. 3 1884-1891 (LOA #107) by Henry James
Henry James: Complete Stories Vol. 1 1864-1874 (LOA #111) by Henry James

Library of America Complete Stories of Henry James : Titles in Order

Book 5
“We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. The rest is the madness of art.” These words, spoken by a dying novelist in “The Middle Years,” sum up Henry James’s credo as a writer. In more than one hundred stories, ranging from brief anecdotes to richly developed novellas, James displayed the unwavering intensity of his aesthetic vision—and he did so with an astonishing variety of invention. The Library of America makes this body of writing available in its entirety in a new, authoritative edition of James’s world-famous stories, complete in five volumes.

The thirty-one stories presented here are the culmination of James’s glorious final period. Among them are the extraordinary fantasies “The Great Good Place” and “The Jolly Corner,” in which supernatural motifs are used hauntingly to express undercurrents of yearning and dislocation; “Julia Bride,” a character portrait akin to “Daisy Miller,” in which a young American woman experiences the social pleasures and vicissitudes of the marriage market; “Crapy Cornelia,” a story whose sense of the compelling power of nostalgic memory owes much to James’s 1904 return visit to New York City; “The Birthplace,” a comic tale about the commercialization of genius that has lost none of its satiric edge; “The Tree of Knowledge,” a sly dissection of the family life of a pampered sculptor; “The Beast in the Jungle,” one of James’s masterpieces, the harrowing account of a man’s confrontation with his own lost opportunities that has been seen as foreshadowing many of the dominant themes of twentieth-century literature; and “A Round of Visits,” James’s last story, about the need to confide and the limits of sympathy.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 4
This Library of America volume is one of five that make available for the first time in new, complete, and authoritative editions the astonishing abundance of invention and unwavering intensity of the aesthetic vision of Henry James as displayed in more than one hundred world-famous stories ranging from brief anecdotes to richly developed novellas.

Equally adept at ironic comedy, muted tragedy, and supernatural fantasy, at lively social satire and nuanced portraiture, James in his shorter works explores a staggering variety of situations and emotions. Here are courtships and legacies; the worlds of literature, theater, and the popular press; the paradoxes of temperament and the constraints of custom; the clash of conscience and desire. Stylistically, the stories allowed James to experiment with tones and devices quite different from his novels—dramatic plot twists and surprise endings, swift pacing and ebullient humor. The brilliance of his technical command allowed him to transform the tiniest of suggestions—a fleetingly observed gesture, an anecdote dropped at a dinner party—into fiction remarkable for its lambent surfaces and intricate psychological counterpoint.

The twenty-one stories in this volume represent James at the peak of his storytelling powers. Among them are “The Turn of the Screw,” one of his most popular works, and a terrifying exercise in psychological horror centering on the corruption of childhood innocence; “The Real Thing,” a playful consideration of the illusion of art and the paradoxes of authenticity; “The Figure in the Carpet,” “The Death of the Lion,” and “The Middle Years,” three very different expositions of the mysteries of authorship, embodying some of James’s most profound insights into the nature of his own art; “The Altar of the Dead,” a somber, ultimately wrenching meditation on the relation of the living to the dead; and “In the Cage,” an extended evocation of the inner life of a young woman trapped in a dehumanizing job at a postal-and-telegraph office.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 3
Sometimes overshadowed by his work as a novelist, Henry James’s short fiction is an astonishing achievement, a triumph of inventiveness and restless curiosity. This Library of America volume (the third of five volumes devoted to his short fiction) includes among its seventeen stories some of James’s greatest masterpieces.

“The Aspern Papers” is a stunning novella about emotional ruthlessness in the service of literary scholarship. “The Pupil” is a densely suggestive account of the moral perplexities underlying the relationship between an impoverished tutor and a young invalid. “The Lesson of the Master” is an intricate study of ambition, disappointment, and the demands of a life devoted to art. “Brooksmith” is a moving portrait of a house servant and “Sir Edmund Orme” is an enthralling ghost story.

In “The Liar,” a painter attempts to force a former love to admit that her present husband is a pathological liar; in “The Patagonia,” a young man cavalierly flirts with a young woman en route to her wedding in England, with disastrous consequences.

More than half the stories within this volume are available in no other edition.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
In the years when he achieved his greatest success as a novelist, Henry James was also contributing stories prolifically to popular magazines. Stories collected in this Library of America volume (the second of five volumes of James’s stories) show James working out, in a more concise fictional laboratory, themes that appear in such novels of the period as The Portrait of a Lady and The Bostonians. They include some of his most famous explorations of the international theme: “Daisy Miller,” the unforgettable portrayal of an innocent, headstrong American girl at odds with European mores, “An International Episode” and “Lady Barberina,” satirically probing tales of English aristocrats and the American marriage market, and “The Siege of London,” in which an American widow strives to work her way into English society.

In “A Bundle of Letters” and “The Point of View,” James makes a fascinating experimental use of the epistolary form. “Professor Fargo” presents an unusually bleak view of the darker side of American life, while “The Author of ‘Beltraffio’” offers a disturbing portrait of a fin-de-siècle novelist. Throughout, James wittily limns the demands and hidden struggles of social life, and hones his mastery of the unexpected resolution and the brilliantly framed moral portrait.

Adventurous in narrative technique, yet marked by precise observation rendered in quicksilver prose, the stories of James’s middle period present a breathtaking array of memorable characters and beguiling scenarios.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
“A dignified and impressive addition to your bookshelf that reveals James’s virtuoso performance in a genre he helped to define, refine and elevate.” — The Commercial Appeal

This Library of America volume, the first of five of Henry James’s short fiction, brings together his first twenty-four published stories, thirteen never collected by James.

Encompassing a wide range of subjects, settings, and formal techniques, they show 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 passion measured against the rigors of artistic discipline.

By his mid-twenties, James was a regular contributor to the most prestigious and popular magazines of his era. He is equally at ease writing historical tales, such as “Gabrielle de Bergerac,” a love story set in pre-Revolutionary France, as he is exploring contemporary events, as in the three stories that treat the effects of the American Civil War on civilians.

James’s psychological acuity is already evident in “Master Eustace,” a study of the ruthlessness of a spoiled child, and in “Guest’s Confession,” where the comic portrayal of an arrogant businessman hints at his cruelty and self-absorption. In “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes,” and “The Last of the Valerii,” James begins to work with the supernatural and fantastic motifs that would continue to surface in his work. Early examples of James’s lifelong fascination with art and artists include “A Landscape Painter,” about a young painter’s attraction to a seemingly simple family living in a desolate coastal town, and “The Madonna of the Future,” where an aging artist avoids the unveiling of his masterpiece.

Adumbrating later triumphs and compelling in their own right, these stories reveal and accomplished and cosmopolitan young talent mastering the art of the short story.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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