The Complete Stories of Herman Melville Edited With an Introduction and Notes, by Jay Leyda
New York : Random House, 1949. Hardcover. 472 pages ; 21 cm. $4.00 dust jacket. In very good condition with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
The Complete Stories of Herman Melville
Edited, with an introduction and notes, by JAY LEYDA
To modern readers, most of whom have heretofore been denied access to many of Melville's stories, this volume will come as an exciting discovery—not simply for its contribution to a fuller understanding of Melville and his other work, but for the complexity and irony of the stories themselves. They are not the kind of stories which can be carelessly read and as easily forgotten, and familiarity with their depths will increase rather than diminish their interest.
The fifteen stories collected here, in the order in which they originally appeared, have never before been published in a single volume, though almost a century has passed since they were written. All were composed within the important four years of crisis between Pierre and The Confidence Man (1853-1856) and all were intended (with the possible exception of "The Piazza") for periodical publication; only six were included in the volume entitled The Piazza Tales (1856). All of Melville's known finished work in the short-story form is included, and his contribution to this form emerges as among the finest in our literature.
In addition to contributing his valuable and revelatory introduction and notes to this edition, Mr. Leyda has devoted great care and study to the task of removing the editorial and printing errors which have found their way into the various past publications of the stories. Mr. Leyda has for several years worked intensively at gathering the materials for a documentary biography of Melville, A Melville Log, which has recently been completed and will soon be published.
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