A unique one-volume selection of stories centred on 'The Aspern
Papers', which focuses on one of James's great themes, the figure
of the artist and the attempted exploitation of the man behind the
artist. 'The Aspern Papers' is one of James's best-known and most
accomplished novellas, whose plot foreshadows the modern cult of
the writer as celebrity, and the hunger to uncover previously
unseen writings. Introduction by distinguished James scholar Adrian
Poole explores the central theme of all four stories and their
literary contexts. Reproduces the definitive New York Edition text
and includes relevant extracts from James's Prefaces and Notebooks
in which the origins and development of the stories are described.
Appendix on stage and screen versions of 'The Aspern Papers'.
Appendix of variant readings. Informative notes. New to this
edition New selection of stories to accompany 'The Aspern Papers':
previously 'The Private Life', 'The Middle Years', and 'The Death
of the Lion'; now 'The Death of the Lion', 'The Figure in the
Carpet', and 'The Birthplace', all concerned with the pursuit of
the man behind the artist. New Introduction. New Select
Bibliography. New appendices containing extracts from James's
Notebooks and on stage and screen versions of 'The Aspern Papers'.
New and revised notes. 'There's no baseness I wouldn't commit for
Jeffrey Aspern's sake.' The poet Aspern, long since dead, has left
behind some private papers. They are jealously guarded by an old
lady, once his mistress and muse, a recluse in an old palazzo in
Venice, tended by her ingenuous niece. A predatory critic is
determined to seize them. What can he make of the younger woman?
What are his motives? What are the papers worth and what is he
prepared to pay? In all four stories collected here, including 'The
Death of the Lion', 'The Figure in the Carpet', and 'The
Birthplace', the figure of the artist is central. Extraordinarily
prophetic, James explores the emergent new cult of the writer as
celebrity, and asks, who cares about the work for itself? Can the
man behind the artist ever truly be known, and does our knowledge
explain the act of creativity? This new edition includes extracts
from James's Prefaces and Notebooks which shed light on the genesis
of the stories. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's
Classics has made available the widest range of literature from
around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's
commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a
wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions
by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text,
up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Readership: Readers of classic fiction, short stories, Henry
James;students of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and
American literature, the novel, modernist literature.