Friday, May 31, 2019

James Thin & the Library of America



James Thin Bookshop (Edinburgh, 1848-2002)


I first encountered the delights of James Thin's signature Bookshop on Edinburgh's South Bridge in 1981, five years before I went to study there. My father wanted to revisit his Scottish roots and do a bit of a European tour as well, and my sister and I decided to accompany my parents. My elder brothers, anticipating trouble, elected to stay at home. In some ways they may have made the right choice.

Despite the many perplexities associated with still travelling with one's family at the age of 18, I have to count one of indisputable triumphs of the trip a day spent wandering around Edinburgh. It was (and is) visually spectacular. But more than that, it seemed to make sense to me as a city, unlike such tangles of motorised mayhem as Rome or Paris - let alone London.

Strangely enough, the main thing I wanted to do there was to locate a copy of Ossian.



James Macpherson: The Works of Ossian (1765)


Why? you may ask. It's hard to say. I guess because I'd read so many allusions to it, without ever being able to locate a copy. It was (allegedly) Napoleon's favourite book, and there was a time when James Macpherson was one of the best-known and most successful authors in Europe.

In any case, I wanted to check it out for myself, and everyone had told me that this was the place to go.



Now things are different. Now there are many editions available, including the one below. But we live in an age when virtually anything in print is available through Amazon.com and other sites. That was not the case in 1981.



James Macpherson: The Poems of Ossian (1995)


  • Macpherson, James. Poems of Ossian: A Facsimile of the 1805 Edition. Introduction by John MacQueen. 2 vols. Edinburgh: James Thin / The Mercat Press, 1971.

  • Macpherson, James. The Poems of Ossian, with Dissertations on the Era and Poems of Ossian; and Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1894.

  • Macpherson, James. The Poems of Ossian. Ed. William Sharp. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1926.

  • Macpherson, James. The Poems of Ossian, and Related Works. Ed. Howard Gaskill. Introduction by Fiona Stafford. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996.

The first in the list above was the one I bought that day. It was not an easy task. I asked, first, at the front desk, was directed down to the basement, then up to the top floor, then down to the basement again. One volume was finally located up above, the other on another floor, but nevertheless I walked out with an odd facsimile edition of the 1805 text clasped tight in my hot little hands!

Yet this inefficiency did not put me off the place. I'd already had a chance on this trip to check out the exciting deeps of Foyle's Bookshop in London, but there was something in the light airiness of Edinburgh which seemed to me just right. I wanted to live there.

And so, in due course, I did. I went back in 1986 to study for my Doctorate in the English Department of the University of Edinburgh. And many things happened. I did, eventually, get my thesis written - an agonising experience which has stood me in good stead ever since when sympathising with others caught in the same trap.



I spent many long hours in the city's libraries: the University Library most of all, I suppose, but also the weirdly arranged City Library, and - best of all - the National Library of Scotland (the former Advocate's Library), a copyright library with access to satellite repositories of books all over the city ...

And, of course, I found my way back to James Thin - as well as all the other bookshops, new and second-hand, in that city of books. But it was in James Thin that I first made acquaintance with the Library of America. It wasn't strictly relevant to my studies, I suppose. I was working on South America not North America (don't ask why a New Zealander should choose to go to Scotland in order to study books about South America - all I can say is that it seemed to make some precarious sense at the time, though less and less in retrospect).

The first volumes in the series were published in 1982, and Thin's must have ordered in a huge number of them, because when I arrived in the mid-1980s, they had a whole wall of them on sale for some small amount. Was it five pounds each? Something like that. Of course I wanted them all, but I tried to make judicious choices of the most indipensable classics: a complete Hawthorne in two volumes, a complete Poe in ditto, the two volumes of Melville then available, Parkman, Whitman, Stephen Crane ...



I've been collecting them ever since. Thirty years on, I'm about to complete the set of Melville I started to assemble that day. Bibliomania is a long-drawn-out disease, which takes you to some pretty odd places. But there's a magic to American books which continues to obsess me.

They're now scattered in different places throughout the house, though. I used to have them all together in one long sequence till a friend told me he thought it looked pretentious. I suppose they do have the air of display books, rather than ones which one is in the habit of reading regularly, but actually nothing could be further from the truth. I read them all the time, and have found them ideal to take on long trips where one needs the assurance of lots of pages in one convenient compass.

Since those early days in Edinburgh, mind you, the series has branched out in many ways. It now includes SF writers such as Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin and Kurt Vonnegut - H. P. Lovecraft is there, as well as many canonical twentieth century poets: Ashbery, Bishop, Merwin, Pound, and Stevens.



Edmund Wilson (1895-1972)


I think it's safe to say that Edmund Wilson's dream of a compendious series of American classics has now thoroughly vindicated itself. His works, too, have finally made the cut. It will continue to serve as a gateway rather than a full stop to the literature of the Americas, but it's hard to imagine its ever being superseded as a series. And, given the severely reduced nature of the critical apparatus in each book, it doesn't need to be re-edited every few decades, unlike its model, the frighteningly comprehensive French Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.

Here's a list of the 85 volumes in the now more than 300-strong series I myself have collected so far. it's arranged under authors, but - further down - I've included another chronological, last-to-first list, with pictures as well as links to each book.





Making Book (2014)

The Library of America
(1979-2019)
(listed alphabetically by authors):


    Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)

  1. Adams, Henry. Novels / Mont Saint Michel / The Education. Democracy: An American Novel; Esther: A Novel; Mont Saint Michel and Chartres; the Education of Henry Adams; Poems. 1880, 1884, 1904, 1918. Ed. Earl N. Harbert. The Library of America, 14. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.

  2. Adams, Henry. History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809. 1889-91. Ed. Earl N. Harbert. The Library of America, 31. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1986.

  3. Adams, Henry. History of the United States of America During the Administrations of James Madison, 1809-1817. 1889-91. Ed. Earl N. Harbert. The Library of America, 32. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1986.


  4. Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)

  5. Anderson, Sherwood. Collected Stories: Winesburg, Ohio / The Triumph of the Egg / Horses and Men / Death in the Woods / Uncollected Stories. Ed. Charles Baxter. The Library of America, 235. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.


  6. John Ashbery (1927-2017)

  7. Ashbery, John. Collected Poems: 1956-1987. Ed. Mark Ford. The Library of America, 187. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2008.

  8. Ashbery, John. Collected Poems: 1991-2000. Ed. Mark Ford. The Library of America, 301. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2017.


  9. Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

  10. Bishop, Elizabeth. Poems, Prose and Letters. Ed. Robert Giroux & Lloyd Schwartz. The Library of America, 180. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2008.


  11. Rachel Louise Carson (1907-1964)

  12. Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment. Ed. Sandra Steingraber. The Library of America, 307. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2018.


  13. Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. (1938-1988)

  14. Carver, Raymond. Collected Stories. Ed. William L. Stull & Maureen P. Carroll. The Library of America, 195. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.


  15. John William Cheever (1912-1982)

  16. Cheever, John. Collected Stories and Other Writings. 1943, 1978. Ed. Blake Bailey. The Library of America, 188. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.

  17. Cheever, John. Complete Novels: The Wapshot Chronicle / The Wapshot Scandal / Bullet Park / Falconer / Oh What a Paradise It Seems. 1957, 1964, 1969, 1977, 1982. Ed. Blake Bailey. The Library of America, 189. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.


  18. James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

  19. Cooper, James Fenimore. The Leatherstocking Tales, vol. 1. Ed. Blake Nevius. The Library of America, 26. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  20. Cooper, James Fenimore. The Leatherstocking Tales, vol. 2. Ed. Blake Nevius. The Library of America, 27. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.


  21. Harold Hart Crane (1899-1932)

  22. Crane, Hart. Complete Poems and Selected Letters. Ed. Langdon Hammer. The Library of America, 168. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2006.


  23. Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

  24. Crane, Stephen. Prose and Poetry: Maggie: a Girl of the Streets; The Red Badge of Courage; Stories, Sketches, and Journalism; Poetry. Ed. J. C. Levenson. The Library of America, 18. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.


  25. Philip Kindred Dick (1928-1982)

  26. Dick, Philip K. Four Novels of the 1960s: The Man in the High Castle / The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Ubik. 1962, 1964, 1968, 1969. Ed. Jonathan Lethem. The Library of America, 173. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2007.

  27. Dick, Philip K. Five Novels of the 1960s and 1970s: Martian Time Slip / Dr. Bloodmoney / Now Wait for Last Year / Flow My Tears the Policeman Said / A Scanner Darkly. 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977. Ed. Jonathan Lethem. The Library of America, 183. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2008.

  28. Dick, Philip K. VALIS and Later Novels: A Maze of Death / VALIS / The Divine Invasion / The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. 1970, 1981, 1981, 1982. Ed. Jonathan Lethem. The Library of America, 193. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.


  29. John Roderigo Dos Passos (1896-1970)

  30. Dos Passos, John. U.S.A.: The 42nd Parallel / Nineteen Nineteen / The Big Money. Ed. Daniel Aaron & Townsend Ludington. The Library of America, 85. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.


  31. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963)

  32. DuBois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. 1903. Ed. Nathan Huggins, 1986. Introduction by John Edgar Wideman. New York: Vintage Books / The Library of America, 1990.


  33. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

  34. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Collected Poems and Translations. Ed. Harold Bloom and Paul Kane. The Library of America, 70. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1994.


  35. William Cuthbert Falkner [Faulkner] (1897-1962)

  36. Faulkner, William. Novels 1926-1929: Soldiers’ Pay / Mosquitoes / Flags in the Dust (Sartoris) / The Sound and the Fury. 1926, 1927, 1929 & 1929. Ed. Joseph Blotner & Noel Polk. The Library of America, 164. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2006.

  37. Faulkner, William. Novels 1930-1935: As I Lay Dying / Sanctuary / Light in August / Pylon. 1930, 1931, 1932 & 1935. Ed. Joseph Blotner & Noel Polk. The Library of America, 25. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  38. Faulkner, William. Novels 1936-1940: Absalom, Absalom! / The Unvanquished / If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem (The Wild Palms) / The Hamlet. 1936, 1938, 1939 & 1940. Ed. Joseph Blotner & Noel Polk. The Library of America, 48. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1990.

  39. Faulkner, William. Novels 1942-1954: Go Down, Moses / Intruder in the Dust / Requiem for a Nun / A Fable. 1942, 1948, 1951 & 1954. Ed. Joseph Blotner & Noel Polk. The Library of America, 73. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1994.

  40. Faulkner, William. Novels 1957-1962: The Town / The Mansion / The Reivers. 1957, 1959 & 1962. Ed. Joseph Blotner & Noel Polk. The Library of America, 112. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1999.


  41. Robert Lee Frost (1874-1963)

  42. Frost, Robert. Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays: Complete Poems 1949; In the Clearing; Uncollected Poems; Plays; Lectures, Essays, Stories, and Letters. Ed. Richard Poirier & Mark Richardson. The Library of America, 81. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1995.


  43. Hiram Ulysses [Ulysses Simpson] Grant (1822-1885)

  44. Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs and Selected Letters. Ed. Mary Drake McFeeley & William S. McFeeley. The Library of America, 50. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1990.


  45. Nathaniel Hathorne [Hawthorne] (1804-1864)

  46. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Tales and Sketches. Ed. Roy Harvey Pearce. The Library of America, 2. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1982.

  47. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Collected Novels: Fanshawe; The Scarlet Letter; The House of the Seven Gables; The Blithedale Romance; The Marble Faun. Ed. Millicent Bell. The Library of America, 10. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.


  48. William Dean Howells (1837-1920)

  49. Howells, William Dean. Novels 1875-1886. Ed. Edwin M. Cady. The Library of America, 8. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1982.


  50. Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)

  51. Hurston, Zora Neale. Novels and Stories: Jonah’s Gourd Vine; Their Eyes Were Watching God; Moses, Man of the Mountain; Seraph on the Suwanee; Selected Stories. Ed. Cheryl A. Wall. The Library of America, 74. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1995.

  52. Hurston, Zora Neale. Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings: Mules and Men; Tell My Horse; Dust Tracks on a Road; Selected Articles. Ed. Cheryl A. Wall. The Library of America, 75. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1995.


  53. Washington Irving (1783-1859)

  54. Irving, Washington. History, Tales, and Sketches: Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent.; Salmagundi or The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. & Others; A History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty; The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Ed. James W. Tuttleton. 1802, 1807-08, 1809, 1819-20. The Library of America, 16. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.

  55. Irving, Washington. Bracebridge Hall; Tales of a Traveller; The Alhambra. 1822, 1824, 1832. Ed. Andrew Myers. The Library of America, 52. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1991.

  56. Irving, Washington. Three Western Narratives: A Tour on the Prairies; Astoria; The Adventures of Captain Bonneville. 1835, 1836, 1837. Ed. James P. Ronda. The Library of America, 146. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2004.


  57. Shirley Jackson (1916-1965)

  58. Jackson, Shirley. Novels and Stories: The Lottery / The Haunting of Hill House / We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Other Stories and Sketches. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. The Library of America, 204. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2010.


  59. Henry James (1843-1916)

  60. James, Henry. Novels 1871-1880: Watch and Ward / Roderick Hudson / The American / The Europeans / Confidence. Ed. William T. Stafford. The Library of America, 13. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.

  61. James, Henry. Novels 1881-1886: Washington Square / The Portrait of a Lady / The Bostonians. Ed. William T. Stafford. The Library of America, 29. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  62. James, Henry. Novels 1886-1890: The Princess Casamassima / The Reverberator / The Tragic Muse. Ed. Daniel Mark Fogel. The Library of America, 43. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1989.

  63. James, Henry. Novels 1896-1899: The Other House / The Spoils of Poynton / What Maisie Knew / The Awkward Age. Ed. Myra Jehlen. The Library of America, 139. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2003.

  64. James, Henry. Novels 1901-1902: The Sacred Fount / The Wings of the Dove. Ed. Leo Bersani. The Library of America, 162. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2006.

  65. James, Henry. Novels 1903-1911: The Ambassadors / The Golden Bowl / The Outcry / Appendix: “The Married Son.” Ed. Ross Posnock. The Library of America, 215. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2011.

  66. James, Henry. Complete Stories, Volume 1: 1864-1874. Ed. Jean Strouse. The Library of America, 111. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1999.

  67. James, Henry. Complete Stories, Volume 2: 1874-1884. Ed. William L. Vance. The Library of America, 106. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1999.

  68. James, Henry. Complete Stories, Volume 3: 1884-1891. Ed. Edward Said. The Library of America, 107. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1999.

  69. James, Henry. Complete Stories, Volume 4: 1892-1898. Ed. David Bromwich and John Hollander. The Library of America, 82. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.

  70. James, Henry. Complete Stories, Volume 5: 1898-1910. Ed. Denis Donoghue. The Library of America, 83. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.

  71. James, Henry. Collected Travel Writings. Great Britain and America: English Hours; the American Scene; Other Travels. Ed. Richard Howard. The Library of America, 64. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1993.

  72. James, Henry. Collected Travel Writings. The Continent: A Little Tour in France; Italian Hours; Other Travels. Ed. Richard Howard. The Library of America, 65. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1993.

  73. James, Henry. Literary Criticism: Essays on Literature; American Writers; English Writers. Ed. Leon Edel & Mark Wilson. The Library of America, 22. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.

  74. James, Henry. Literary Criticism: French Writers; Other European Writers; The Prefaces to the New York Edition. Ed. Leon Edel & Mark Wilson. The Library of America, 23. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.

  75. James, Henry. Autobiographies: A Small Boy and Others / Notes of a Son and Brother / The Middle Years / Other Writings. 1913, 1914, 1917. Ed. Philip Horne. The Library of America, 274. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2016.


  76. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

  77. Jefferson, Thomas. Writings. Ed. Merrill D. Peterson. The Library of America, 17. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.


  78. Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (1929-2018)

  79. Le Guin, Ursula K. The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena; Stories and Songs. Ed. Brian Attebery. The Library of America, 281. 1979, 1976. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2016.

  80. Le Guin, Ursula K. The Hainish Novels & Stories, vol. 1: Rocannon's World; Planet of Exile; City of Illusions; The Left Hand of Darkness; The Dispossessed; Stories. 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1974. Ed. Brian Attebery. The Library of America, 296. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2017.

  81. Le Guin, Ursula K. The Hainish Novels & Stories, vol. 2: The Word for World is Forest; Five Ways to Forgiveness; The Telling; Stories. 1977, 1995, 2000. Ed. Brian Attebery. The Library of America, 297. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2017.

  82. Le Guin, Ursula K. Always Coming Home: Author’s Expanded Edition. 1985. Ed. Brian Attebery. The Library of America, 315. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2019.


  83. Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

  84. Lincoln, Abraham. Speeches and Writings 1832-1858: Speeches, Letters and Miscellaneous Writings / The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Ed. Don E. Fehrenbacher. 1989. The Library of America, 45. The Bicentennial Edition. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.

  85. Lincoln, Abraham. Speeches and Writings 1859-1865: Speeches, Letters and Miscellaneous Writings / Presidential Messages and Proclamations. Ed. Don E. Fehrenbacher. 1989. The Library of America, 46. The Bicentennial Edition. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.

  86. Holzer, Harold, ed. The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now. The Library of America, 192S. The Bicentennial Edition. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2009.


  87. John [Jack] London (1876-1916)

  88. London, Jack. Novels and Stories: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, The Sea-Wolf, Klondike and Other Stories. 1903, 1904, 1906. Ed. Donald Pizer. The Library of America, 6. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1982.


  89. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937)

  90. Lovecraft, H. P. Tales. Ed. Peter Straub. The Library of America, 155. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2005.


  91. Herman Melville (1819-1891)

  92. Melville, Herman. Typee, Omoo, Mardi. 1846, 1847, 1849. Ed. G. Thomas Tanselle. The Library of America, 1. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1982.

  93. Melville, Herman. Redburn, White Jacket, Moby-Dick. 1849, 1850, 1851. Ed. G. Thomas Tanselle. The Library of America, 9. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.

  94. Melville, Herman. Pierre, Israel Potter, The Piazza Tales, The Confidence-Man, Tales & Billy Budd. 1852, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1922 & 1924. Ed. Harrison Hayford. The Library of America, 24. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  95. Melville, Herman. Complete Poems: Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War / Clarel / John Marr and Other Sailors / Timoleon / Posthumous & Unpublished. 1866, 1876, 1888 & 1891. Library of America Herman Melville Edition, 4. Ed. Hershel Parker. The Library of America, 320. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2019.


  96. William Stanley Merwin (1927-2019)

  97. Merwin, W. S. Collected Poems 1952-1993. Ed. J. D. McClatchy. The Library of America, 240. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2013.

  98. Merwin, W. S. Collected Poems 1996-2011. Ed. J. D. McClatchy. The Library of America, 241. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2013.


  99. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-1977)

  100. Nabokov, Vladimir. Novels and Memoirs 1941-1951: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight / Bend Sinister / Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited. 1941, 1947, 1951. Ed. Brian Boyd. The Library of America, 87. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.

  101. Nabokov, Vladimir. Novels 1955-1962: Lolita / Pnin / Pale Fire / Lolita: A Screenplay. 1955, 1957, 1962, 1974. Ed. Brian Boyd. The Library of America, 88. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.

  102. Nabokov, Vladimir. Novels 1969-1974: Ada, or Ardor: a Family Chronicle / Transparent Things / Look at the Harlequins!. 1969, 1972, 1974. Ed. Brian Boyd. The Library of America, 89. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.


  103. Mary Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)

  104. O’Connor, Flannery. Collected Works: Wise Blood; A Good Man is Hard to Find; The Violent Bear It Away; Everything That Rises Must Converge; Essays and Letters. Ed. Sally Fitzgerald. The Library of America, 39. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1988.


  105. Francis Parkman (1823-1893)

  106. Parkman, Francis. France and England in North America, vol. 1: The Pioneers of France in the New World; The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century; La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West; The Old Régime in Canada. 1865, 1867, 1869, 1874. Ed. David Levin. The Library of America, 11. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.

  107. Parkman, Francis. France and England in North America, vol. 2: Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV; A Half Century of Conflict; Montcalm and Wolfe. 1877, 1892, 1884. Ed. David Levin. The Library of America, 12. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1983.


  108. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

  109. Poe, Edgar Allan. Poetry and Tales. Ed. Patrick F. Quinn. The Library of America, 19. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.

  110. Poe, Edgar Allan. Essays and Reviews. Ed. G. R. Thompson. The Library of America, 20. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984.


  111. Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

  112. Pound, Ezra. Poems & Translations. Ed. Richard Sieburth. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2003.


  113. Cornelius Ryan (1920-1974)

  114. Ryan, Cornelius. The Longest Day / A Bridge Too Far / Other World War II Writings. 1959, 1974. Ed. Rick Atkinson. The Library of America, 318. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2019.


  115. John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (1902–1968)

  116. Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings, 1936-1941: The Long Valley; The Grapes of Wrath; The Log from the Sea of Cortez; The Harvest Gypsies. 1938, 1939, 1941 & 1951, 1936 & 1938. Ed. Robert DeMott & Elaine A. Steinbeck. The Library of America, 86. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.


  117. Susan Sontag (1933-2004)

  118. Sontag, Susan. Essays of the 1960s and 70s: Against Interpretation / Styles of Radical Will / On Photography / Illness as Metaphor / Uncollected Essays. Ed. David Rieff. The Library of America, 246. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2013.


  119. Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

  120. Stevens, Wallace. Collected Poetry & Prose. Ed. Frank Kermode & Joan Richardson. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1997.


  121. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

  122. Thoreau, Henry David. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers; Walden: or, Life in the Woods; The Maine Woods; Cape Cod. Ed. Robert F. Sayre. The Library of America, 28. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  123. Thoreau, Henry David. Collected Essays and Poems. Ed. Elizabeth Hall Witherell. The Library of America, 124. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2001.


  124. James Grover Thurber (1894-1961)

  125. Thurber, James. Writings and Drawings. Ed. Garrison Keillor. The Library of America, 90. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1996.


  126. Samuel Langhorne Clemens ['Mark Twain'] (1835-1910)

  127. Twain, Mark. Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays 1852-1890. Ed. Louis J. Budd. The Library of America, 60. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1992.

  128. Twain, Mark. Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays 1891-1910. Ed. Louis J. Budd. The Library of America, 61. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1992.


  129. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922–2007)

  130. Vonnegut, Kurt. Novels & Stories 1963-1973: Cat's Cradle; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Slaughterhouse-Five; Breakfast of Champions; Stories. Ed. Sidney Offit. The Library of America, 216. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2011.


  131. Walter [Walt] Whitman (1819-1892)

  132. Whitman, Walt. Poetry and Prose. Ed. Justin Kaplan. The Library of America, 3. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1982.





The Library of America
(2019-1979)
(listed in chronological order, most recent to earliest):




Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels & Stories, Volume One LOA N°296  
 
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia LOA N°281
















Henry James: Literary Criticism: French Writers, Other European Writers, Prefaces to the New York Edition LOA N°23


Herman Melville: Typee, Omoo, Mardi LOA N°1  

[85 titles]



7 comments:

Roger Allen said...

"...this inefficiency did not put me off the place. I'd already had a chance on this trip to check out the exciting deeps of Foyle's Bookshop in London"

Foyle's - the old Foyle's, before it was tidied and moved - combined inefficiency, inconvenience and offensiveness on a grand scale. You could never find what you wanted, but you had a good chance of finding what you never knew you'd wanted.
When they were closing down they had all the long o.o.p. books for sale at £1 each. A friend used to buy as many as he could carry and take them to the London University bookshop - two or three bus stops away - and sell them for £2 or £3 apiece.

Dr Jack Ross said...

I think it's just as well that I couldn't attend that booksale. I would have filled boxes, and then had to struggle along the street balancing them on top of one another (as happened to me once after an Auckland Public Library sale) ...

Richard said...

I like the idea of those dusty old inefficient book shops. The challenge of the hunt for something quirky...I have never been to the U.K. but I imagine things in terms of the times of Dickens. I am not interested in going to a post-Dickens U.K. Although all my relatives (parents, uncles, aunts grandparents etc I mean) were from England.

I've seen that series. I had Cheever (stories) and I think Flannery O'Connor from the library. But I tend to buy more or less by chance. But if I get a series of things I do like to complete it even if I know or suspect I may never read all the books. But I can understand that impulse to collect. My 'The Great Books' though lets me down on a few things. Hegel is incomplete. And other writers include only their famous books. But many are pretty complete, such as Plato, Augustine, Pascal and others.

There are many of those writers I like. I was obsessed with Ashbery for years but feel no desire for a complete as I have a lot.

Then there is that essay one reads, or a reference somewhere, and the story or a novel of the writer concerned turns out to be the one one lacks. As I said re Bierce I believe his complete stories are online, I read one, and there were many more. It seems just about everything by Smithyman. Is Runyan one of those you have collected? A friend of mine got onto him via reading Alistair Cooke.

I saw a poem by Emerson today. I realized I have never read anything by him. But if they have Henry James, they need to burden with his brother, William -- or is that too much Harold Bloom country?

The Dos Passos. I haven't read any but I have the America series but not the Manhatten Transfer. It seems your series doesn't include that (or does it?). Cant see Stein, I thought I had seen her work in that series somewhere.

Jack, did your brother or anyone else ever warn you that you cant collect and or read everything!!

Re Philip K Dick. I read one book, the one that was for Blade Runner (which I cant recall seeing) and I didn't think much of it.

My problem with even fewer books (though a lot now reasonably filed) is that I dare not buy certain authors as I cant remember if I own the book. Also, so many of so many kinds of books as I read books about nearly every subject so it slows down my education. Which is a bit late for me at 71!

I haven't read much by Clive James but I was impressed the way that (in a short book he wrote recently), though supposedly pretty chronically if not terminally ill, he set up his apartment in London, was scolded by his daughters not to get any more books as they had tidied things up...But then, as he knew they also had large collections etc, they didn't really fuss as he, naturally, began collecting again. Gathering together writers he had read and wanted to re-read. I was impressed that his Shakespeare Complete was so massively thumbed he had to bind it, and he had read all of Proust and I think he wrote a book about the same. So the bibliophilic obsession continues in the face of Time Himself Jack! So (more?) staggering away from library sales await you...

Dr Jack Ross said...

Dear Richard,

On mature reflection, I think the Library of America holds the solution to your Ambrose Bierce dilemma. Their one-volume Bierce has everything you could reasonably want.

Ambrose Bierce: The Devil’s Dictionary, Tales, & Memoirs
In the Midst of Life (Tales of Soldiers and Civilians) | Can Such Things Be? | The Devil’s Dictionary | Bits of Autobiography | selected stories
Edited by S. T. Joshi

You'll find a link to it here:
https://www.loa.org/books/347-the-devils-dictionary-tales-memoirs

Richard said...

Yes. That looks a good idea. I have The Devil's Dicionary which is one of those books one dips into for amusement. Extraordinary. But indeed I don't mind it also being in one with stories as I prefer reading the physical book. So thanks.

Nor is this an argument for or against electronic books etc but I like, as I am fairly sure you do also, to attain the physical thing itself...

The Lib. Of America editions I saw (from the library) were Cheever's Stories (I read one of his novels but felt it wasn't so good, but that doesn't mean the others aren't), and also Flannery O'Conner's stories. I have a complete of the later now and also have Cheever, stories and his Journal (unread yet but as below I want to read and 'sample' etc). I am in fact getting interested in journals, letters, and so on (but including not only famous letters, but those of my family which I will include in my I.P. which will never be finished per se as it is unfinishable really, but this is partly where I am leaning).

Did you delve much into letters, journals. I got a book today about memory and narrative which somehow alchemizes Rousseau and Becket. It is called 'Memory and Marriage, the Weave of Life Writing' by James Olney. (1988) Naturally St. Augustine is mentioned whose book I enjoyed reading. Giacometti also for some reason.

But I also got a strange, battered little book called '19 Necromancers from Now' by Ishmael Reed (whose name I did recognise) and strange stories and plays of excerpts from novelists of various ilks and strangeness: e.g. 'Paul Lofty is known as "The Hermit of Beverly Hills." It took days of camping outside his home and persuasion to wrest from him this excerpt from a long masterful and untitled novel...

But thanks re Bierce I like his stories. I also like the stories of Bret Harte and I read a few of Runyan's. No Fennimore Cooper and not much Henry James. Some though.

I'll see if the Am. Lib. has stories (more I have quite a few) of Melville.

Thurber I have read and known about for years. One wonders when people haven't read such as Thurber, or seen work by Heath Robinson, or read the works of Edward Lear or I believe, those of others such as in my case Gerald Durrell. (But no Lawrence as yet although I have his books). But Dickens. I am sure I have read everything (novels etc) by Dickens except Martin C. and I think, not sure, Our Mutual Friend. Although I was sure I had read it years ago.

Who else of that series? I commend them all, obviously there are a lot more. 'Invisble Man' is a tour de force. Have they got James Schuyler (Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry)in the series? Definitely worth reading. Anyway, good stuff...!

Richard said...

Yes. That looks a good idea. I have The Devil's Dicionary which is one of those books one dips into for amusement. Extraordinary. But indeed I don't mind it also being in one with stories as I prefer reading the physical book. So thanks.

Nor is this an argument for or against electronic books etc but I like, as I am fairly sure you do also, to attain the physical thing itself...

The Lib. Of America editions I saw (from the library) were Cheever's Stories (I read one of his novels but felt it wasn't so good, but that doesn't mean the others aren't), and also Flannery O'Conner's stories. I have a complete of the later now and also have Cheever, stories and his Journal (unread yet but as below I want to read and 'sample' etc). I am in fact getting interested in journals, letters, and so on (but including not only famous letters, but those of my family which I will include in my I.P. which will never be finished per se as it is unfinishable really, but this is partly where I am leaning).

Did you delve much into letters, journals. I got a book today about memory and narrative which somehow alchemizes Rousseau and Becket. It is called 'Memory and Marriage, the Weave of Life Writing' by James Olney. (1988) Naturally St. Augustine is mentioned whose book I enjoyed reading. Giacometti also for some reason.

But I also got a strange, battered little book called '19 Necromancers from Now' by Ishmael Reed (whose name I did recognise) and strange stories and plays of excerpts from novelists of various ilks and strangeness: e.g. 'Paul Lofty is known as "The Hermit of Beverly Hills." It took days of camping outside his home and persuasion to wrest from him this excerpt from a long masterful and untitled novel...

But thanks re Bierce I like his stories. I also like the stories of Bret Harte and I read a few of Runyan's. No Fennimore Cooper and not much Henry James. Some though.

I'll see if the Am. Lib. has stories (more I have quite a few) of Melville.

Thurber I have read and known about for years. One wonders when people haven't read such as Thurber, or seen work by Heath Robinson, or read the works of Edward Lear or I believe, those of others such as in my case Gerald Durrell. (But no Lawrence as yet although I have his books). But Dickens. I am sure I have read everything (novels etc) by Dickens except Martin C. and I think, not sure, Our Mutual Friend. Although I was sure I had read it years ago.

Who else of that series? I commend them all, obviously there are a lot more. 'Invisble Man' is a tour de force. Have they got James Schuyler (Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry)in the series? Definitely worth reading. Anyway, good stuff...!

Dr Jack Ross said...

Dear Richard,

You can check out the whole series at their website here:
https://www.loa.org/

I don't have Cheever's Journal or his Letters, but I'm very curious to read them. There's also an interesting memoir by his daughter, I believe.

Yes, I'm a sucker for biographical and autobiographical surrounds to canonical texts I remember I used to get told off for it at uni, but now I'm the one who does the telling off, so I persist in my folly - if that's what it is.

The Library of America must be limited by certain copyright factors. Ralph Ellison would seem like an obvious choice, but he's not in there (yet), though Richard Wright and James Baldwin are.

best, jack