Monday, July 25, 2005

Books about books

Instead of acquiring and keeping full sets of the fiction in the various canons, our library buys books of criticism or biographies of the authors whose books are not on the shelves. At least, though, for the most part, the Library of America is being acquired as published. Two volumes of Edith Wharton short fiction are providing pleasure here these days. She was prolific. Since I don't read additional matter (forwards, chronologies, commentaries, and the like) until the book has been read, I don't know whether the place of original publication of these pieces is shown. Some of them are "ladies' magazine fiction," though of a rather high order; some of them are very Jamesian. I'm still in volume one.


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