Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Magician: Thomas Mann or Colm Tóibín?

Thomas Mann (1946)

I've spent a good deal of time these summer holidays rereading books by Thomas Mann. When I wasn't reading him, I was writing blogposts about him: on this site as well as my bibliography one. And when I wasn't reading or writing about him, I was ordering new items to fill (mostly imaginary) gaps in my Mann collection. I may have gone a bit over the top in that respect, in fact.

Even so, it came as a surprise when I saw how many of the people I mentioned him to already seemed to have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of the life and times of Thomas Mann. I hadn't realised his work was so much in the mainstream. Until the penny dropped. Their knowledge was not so much knowledge gleaned from reading Mann, as a reflection of the vogue of Colm Tóibín's recent biographical novel The Magician.

Colm Tóibín: The Magician (2021)

So what's wrong with that, you ask? Why, nothing at all. There's no reason why people shouldn't use biographies and even biographical novels to pick up information about authors they've never actually read. I've done it myself, and feel no compunction in admitting the fact.

It isn't quite the same as actually reading your way through Buddenbrooks or The Magic Mountain, mind you, but then who ever claimed it was? I guess any disquiet I feel over this - which I freely admit may be partially motivated by pique: there I was thinking I was something special because I'd ploughed through all these immense novels by some obscure old German, only to find that all his secrets were freely on sale in a far more convenient and readable form - is really based on a couple of other issues.

Murdo Macleod: Colm Tóibín (2018)

My first concern can be outlined more or less as follows. The Magician is certainly a very readable novel, but is it a good novel? There seems to be a kind of concensus among those who haven't actually read Mann that it is a pretty good novel - even such terms as 'masterpiece' have been bandied about (with a subtle implication that Mann is rather lucky that one so gifted should take him up at this late date in time).

I, too, think it a good novel: or at any rate a very entertaining one, which is perhaps not quite the same thing. But then I'm rather a fan of bio-fiction. In my teens I greatly enjoyed reading fat tomes by the likes of Irving Stone which gave overviews of the lives of worthies like Vincent Van Gogh (Lust for Life) or Michelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy) long before I'd seen the fine films based on these books.

I've provided a list of Irving Stone's books at the bottom of this post for anyone who'd like to follow up on his work. His later books on the likes of Darwin and Freud were perhaps less successful than the earlier ones, but there's no harm in such works (I think), especially given the lack of pretentiousness which surrounds them.

That isn't quite the tone people take when they talk of Colm Tóibín. After all, he's only written two such novels so far - about, respectively, Mann and Henry James - but he does appear to have won quite a reputation as a serious modern author with his (many) other novels.

Colm Tóibín: The Master (2004)

The Henry James novel, which I've also read, is interesting. Tóibín makes a concerted attempt to inhabit the style as well as the consciousness of James during one of the great crises of his life, the failure of his dramatic ambitions in the 1890s. It's a far more focussed, and perhaps more ambitious attempt to become the Master, than is his Mann.

John Singer Sargent: Henry James (1913)

On the other hand, the Mann book covers a whole half-century of his life and contacts in a series of neatly staged scenes, with an overarching theme. Such a task cannot have been easy. It might, in fact, have been easier to repeat his earlier success by doing a study of some particular aspect of his life in a prose-style pastiched from Death in Venice.

Luchino Visconti, dir.: Death in Venice (1971)

Which brings me to my second point. No-one's ever really been in any serious doubt about the homoerotic inclinations of either Henry James or Thomas Mann. True, the former may well never had had sex at all in the conventional sense. He certainly formed no longterm relationships, and kept his private life a well-guarded secret.

Mann, by contrast, was a married man, with a complex and turbulent family life, and a crowd of children and siblings who all seem to have been in varying states of rebellion at various times. But no reader of his work can fail to notice his obsession with male beauty and passionate same-sex friendships. Even if you didn't, critics and biographers have pointed it out ad nauseam. But did he ever actually have sex with a man? No-one knows. There are reasons to doubt it.

Tóibín's Mann certainly does. He's a good deal gayer than any previous version of Mann - which is, again, Tóibín's prerogative. Nor does this decision exactly come as a surprise, given the tenor of his other work. His James, too, is far gayer than (say) Leon Edel's.

Leon Edel: Life of Henry James (5 vols: 1953-72)

All that is certainly well within the bounds of fair comment. But Tóibín's Mann is also far more of a domestic tyrant and family autocrat than seems to come through in his surviving letters and diary - not to mention a bit of a sneak when it comes to hiding his rather hole-in-corner affairs.

There's a very apposite letter by Thomas Hardy once applied by the poet Elizabeth Bishop to a not dissimilar case:
Here is a quotation from dear little Hardy which I copied out years ago ... It's from a letter written in 1911, referring to "an abuse which was said to have occurred - that of publishing details of a lately deceased man's life under the guise of a novel, with assurances of truth scattered in the newspapers." ...

"What should certainly be protested against, in cases where there is no authorisation, is the mixing of fact and fiction in unknown proportions. Infinite mischief would lie in that. If any statements in the dress of fiction are covertly hinted to be fact, all must be fact, and nothing else but fact, for obvious reasons. The power of getting lies believed about people through that channel after they are dead, by stirring in a few truths, is a horror to contemplate."
Which I guess is my point. 'If any statements in the dress of fiction are covertly hinted to be fact, all must be fact, and nothing else but fact, for obvious reasons.' In other words, interesting though many of Tóibín's conjectures about Mann certainly are, it's hard to know how to take them, exactly, without any real sense of the evidence they're based on.

Of course this could be used as a way of dismissing biographical novels in general as a viable literary form, but I'm not sure that it's necessary to go quite so far as that. Tóibín's novel strikes me - from my own knowledge of Mann's writing and from reading at least some of the other biographies - as unreasonably critical of his subject's bona fides in matters of the heart. He leaves Mann's rather more patchy political record largely to one side.

But all this leaves me dying to know where Tóibín got his information from. Out of his own head? Or are there substantive archives of material which give a sound basis for at least some of these suppositions? I don't suppose we'll ever know, unless he decides to give us a 'writing-of' book along the lines of Mann's own Story of a Novel, about the composition of Doctor Faustus; or David Lodge's The Year of Henry James, which gives an account both of his own James bio-novel Author, Author, but also of the various others - including Tóibín's - which appeared in that same year, 2004.

David Lodge: The Year of Henry James (2006)

Alex Ross (2010)

That's about as far as I'd got when I chanced upon a recent New Yorker article called "Thomas Mann’s Brush with Darkness" by their learned Germanophile music critic, Alex Ross. This was the first passage that caught my eye:
Because I have been almost unhealthily obsessed with Mann’s writing since the age of eighteen, I may be ill-equipped to win over skeptics, but I know why I return to it year after year. Mann is, first, a supremely gifted storyteller, adept at the slow windup and the rapid turn of the screw. He is a solemn trickster who is never altogether earnest about anything, especially his own grand Goethean persona. At the heart of his labyrinth are scenes of emotional chaos, episodes of philosophical delirium, intimations of inhuman coldness. His politics traverse the twentieth-century spectrum, ricochetting from right to left. His sexuality is an exhibitionistic enigma. In life and work alike, his contradictions are pressed together like layers in metamorphic rock.
Yep. What he said. I know what he means when he refers to his Mannophilia as an 'unhealthy obsession.' As a fellow-obsessive, I also understand the reservations he mentions below on the actual need for Tóibín’s project:
At first glance, Tóibín’s undertaking seems superfluous, since there are already a number of great novels about Thomas Mann, and they have the advantage of being by Thomas Mann. Few writers of fiction have so relentlessly incorporated their own experiences into their work. Hanno Buddenbrook, the proud, hurt boy who improvises Wagnerian fantasies on the piano; Tonio Kröger, the proud, hurt young writer who sacrifices his life for his art; Prince Klaus Heinrich, the hero of Royal Highness, who rigidly performs his duties; Gustav von Aschenbach, the hidebound literary celebrity who loses his mind to a boy on a Venice beach; Mut-em-enet, Potiphar’s wife, who falls desperately in love with the handsome Israelite Joseph; the confidence man Felix Krull, who fools people into thinking he is more impressive than he is; the Faustian composer Adrian Leverkühn, who is compared to “an abyss into which the feelings others expressed for him vanished soundlessly without a trace” — all are avatars of the author, sometimes channelling his letters and diaries.
He, too, feels some misgivings about the clash between Tóibín's imaginings and the existing documents:
Tóibín doesn’t adhere exclusively to the biographical record, and his most decisive intervention comes in the realm of sex. In all likelihood, Mann never engaged in anything resembling what contemporary sensibilities would classify as gay sex. His diaries are reliable in factual matters and do not shy away from embarrassing details; we hear about erections, masturbation, nocturnal emissions. But he clearly has trouble even picturing male-on-male action, let alone participating in it. When, in 1950, he reads Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, he asks himself, “How can one sleep with gentlemen?” The Mann of The Magician, by contrast, is allowed to have several same-sex encounters, though the details remain vague.
In the end, much though he relishes certain passages and aperçus in Tóibín's novel:
The Magician, deft and diligent as it is, ultimately diminishes the imperial strangeness of Mann’s nature. He comes across as a familiar, somewhat pitiable creature — a closeted man who occasionally gives in to his desires. The real Mann never gave in to his desires, but he also never really hid them. Gay themes surfaced in his writing almost from the start, and he made clear that his stories were autobiographical. When, in 1931, he received a newspaper questionnaire asking about his “first love,” he replied, in essence, “Read ‘Tonio Kröger.’ ” Likewise, of Death in Venice he wrote, “Nothing is invented.” Gay men saw the author as one of their own ...
Perhaps the real problem with The Magician, then, is that its author is not content to write a solid, unexciting Mann-and-water bio-novel in the Irving Stone mode, but isn't ready, either, to engage fully with the 'element of charlatanism' (Alex Ross's phrase) inherent in Mann's magpie methodology.

As a result, The Magician ends up falling between two stools. It provides a fascinating (though selective) reading of Thomas Mann's life, but not really of his art. Tóibín's muse seems more comfortable with the stylistic conventions of Henry James's day than with the oncoming juggernaut of twentieth-century Modernism. Mann's basic techniques of irony and sampling were foundational for post-modern writers such as Nabokov or Pynchon. Mann, after all, 'had always been haunted by the sense of being an empty shell, a wooden soldier.'
All along, the dubiousness of genius had been one of his chief motifs. In “The Brother,” his essay on Hitler, he wrote that greatness was an aesthetic rather than an ethical phenomenon, meaning that Nazi exploitation of Goethe and Beethoven was less a betrayal of German artist-worship than a grotesque extension of it. The Magician’s finest trick was to dismantle the pretensions of genius while preserving his own lofty stature. The feat could be accomplished only once, and it happens definitively in Doctor Faustus, when Leverkühn’s explication of his valedictory cantata spirals into madness. An immaculately turned-out personification of bourgeois culture stages its destruction.
So am I saying that you shouldn't read The Magician? Not at all. Tóibín is not alone nowadays in his return to the solider conventions of the realist novel. What I would advise, though, is tempering your reading of Tóibín with some study of Thomas Mann's own fiction: even just a few short stories if you don't have the patience for one of the novels. "Disorder and Early Sorrow" or "Mario and the Magician" will quickly convince you, if you needed the reminder, that we're not dealing here with an empty windbag but with a far subtler talent, a writer on a level with Chekhov or Joyce.

Getty Images / Hulton Archive: Irving Stone

Irving Tennenbaum ['Irving Stone']


  1. Lust for Life: A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh. 1935. London: John Lane / The Bodley Head, 1940.
  2. Sailor on Horseback. [Jack London] (1938)
  3. Immortal Wife. [Jessie Benton Frémont] (1944)
  4. Adversary in the House. [Eugene V. Debs and his wife Kate] (1947)
  5. The Passionate Journey. [American artist John Noble] (1949)
  6. The President's Lady. [Andrew Jackson and Rachel Donelson Jackson] (1951)
  7. Love is Eternal. [Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd] (1954)
  8. The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo. 1961. Fontana Books. London: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1965.
  9. Those Who Love. [John Adams and Abigail Adams] (1965)
  10. The Passions of the Mind. [Sigmund Freud] (1971)
  11. The Greek Treasure. [Heinrich Schliemann] (1975)
  12. The Origin. [Charles Darwin] (1980)
  13. Depths of Glory. [Camille Pissarro] (1985)

  14. Non-fiction:

  15. Clarence Darrow for the Defence. 1941. London: The Bodley Head, 1949.
  16. They Also Ran. [Failed Presidential Candidates] (1943 / 1966)
  17. Earl Warren (1948)
  18. Men to Match My Mountains: The Monumental Saga of the Winning of America's Far West (1956)

  19. Edited:

  20. [with Jean Stone]. Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent van Gogh. 1937. London: Cassell, 1973.
  21. [with Jean Stone]. I, Michelangelo, Sculptor: An Autobiography through Letters. Trans. Charles Speroni. 1963. Fontana Books. London: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1965.

Carol Reed, dir.: The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The World of Charles Dickens

The World of Charles Dickens
[photographs: Bronwyn Lloyd (2022)]

For Christmas 2021, Bronwyn gave me a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle called The World of Charles Dickens. It took us almost a week to complete it. Above you can see me putting in the very last piece. Below is an earlier stage of the process.

Opening stages

Mind you, I did have help. Zero was always ready to oblige with advice, and the fact that Bronwyn is holding the camera doesn't mean that she didn't do more than her fair share of wrestling with this fiendish conundrum, either.

Jack & Zero

It was a bit of a relief to get it done, to tell you the truth. I'd forgotten just how tricky it could be to complete a large jigsaw of this kind. My mother used to bring them home for us when we were kids. She volunteered in the local opportunity shop, and it went against her conscience to sell any donated goods which hadn't been thoroughly checked in advance. They almost invariably had a piece or two missing, which has left me with an abiding syndrome about the final stages of assembly.

The field of battle

This particular puzzle - fresh out of the box - did prove to be complete. That hadn't stopped me from anticipating the worst. Bronwyn is of a sunnier disposition, fortunately.

Barry Falls: The World of Charles Dickens. Ed. John Mullan (2021)

A great many of the characters included in the design were obvious enough: Mr. Pickwick and Sam Weller (The Pickwick Papers); Lizzie Hexham rowing her father down the Thames (Our Mutual Friend); the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future (A Christmas Carol); Jo the crossing-sweeper being accosted by Lady Dedlock (Bleak House) ...

A great many of the others I'd never have guessed, though. I did spot the rowboat with Pip, Herbert Pocket, and Magwitch the convict from Great Expectations, but Estella and Miss Havisham were less clear to me. A great many of the 70-odd characters included just looked like typical Victorians in breeches and bonnets. But an immense amount of ingenuity had been spent on the layout and colouring of the picture - so many windows and roofs to identify! Not to mention fields, bushes and lawns ... In fact, if it hadn't been for the Thames running through it, the puzzle might well have proved insuperable.

The Oxford Illustrated Dickens (21 volumes: 1987)

It did get me thinking about Dickens in general. In an earlier post about my Grandmother and her book collection, I mentioned the 22-volume set of his works which she and my grandfather painstakingly saved up for in the 1930s, and which has eventually made its circuitous way to my own bookshelves.

I can't claim to have read all of it. I have read his fourteen full-length novels (as well as the unfinished Edwin Drood), and - at one time or another - most of the other miscellaneous fiction he published. But some of the compilations of journalism and other occasional pieces (Sketches by Boz, Reprinted Pieces, and The Uncommercial Traveller, for instance) have hitherto evaded my quest for completeness.

Which is one reason I decided that a good project for Summer might be to remedy that. I recently read a New Yorker article on just such an attempt, by a writer called Brad Leithauser. I'd note, though, that he wrote it while he was "nearly finished [my emphasis]; only The Old Curiosity Shop and The Mystery of Edwin Drood remain."

Given that this admission shows that he hadn't been reading chronologically - which is, in my opinion, the only way of gleaning much profit from a trawl through an author's collected works - and given his almost exclusive focus on David Copperfield at the expense of Dicken's obscurer fiction, I must confess to a certain scepticism about the thoroughness of Leithauser's coverage - not to mention his conclusion that "my favorite Dickens is mostly the world’s favorite Dickens."

His choice of three books - respectively, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and the above-mentioned David Copperfield - as "all but flawless in their chosen genres" is, I suppose, fair enough. But is it just a perverse taste for the recondite which makes me find that a little disappointing? What of the baroque splendours of Our Mutual Friend? What of the exuberant frenzies of Nicholas Nickleby or Pickwick? What of such proto-M. R. James-like, pared-back ghost stories as "The Signalman" or "The Trial for Murder"?

Dickens's work as a whole seems to constitute - for me at least - a curious combination of social realism and gothic extremity. His actual political opinions had a reactionary tinge which make them less than palatable today - but his emotional engagement with the realities of poverty and want are still powerful and moving even at this distance in time.

He was horrible to his wife, duplicitous about his mistress, dictatorial to his children, and intensely demanding of his friends. He was simultaneously tirelessly productive, endlessly energetic, and immensely self-destructive. It's not so much surprising that he burned out at the early age of 58 as that he was able to last that long in the first place!

One of the few good reasons I've ever heard for wanting there to be a next world, though, is the opportunity to read the conclusion to the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood, which I presume that he will have cranked around to completing by now.

Michael Slater: Charles Dickens (2007)

There are many biographies. At times it can seem as if the majority even of bookish people are far less keen on reading him than reading about him. The original Victorian biography by John Forster is still an essential source, and I must confess, too, to a soft spot for Edgar Johnson's exhaustive two-volume account of 1952.

I'm not myself a great admirer of Peter Ackroyd's strange biography-with-fictional-interludes, though it certainly has its moments. A far more significant contribution to scholarship came from Claire Tomalin's The Invisible Woman: a biography of Dickens's mistress Nelly Ternan, which appeared in the same year, 1990.

Claire Tomalin: Charles Dickens: A Life (2011)

She's followed this up since with a full-dress biography of Dickens, perhaps meant as a riposte to Michael Slater's, also pictured above. Slater is, after all, a bit of a Ternan-sceptic, witness his book The Great Charles Dickens Scandal (2012), which takes issue with many of Tomalin's points.

In any case, whatever your views on this or other contentious points, you won't find too much difficulty in finding material to your taste in the vast untidy field of Dickens scholarship. Even the famously critical F. R. Leavis finally decided to admit him to the fold of the 'great tradition' in English fiction.

Andrew Davies, writ.: Bleak House (2005)

There was a bit of mini Dickens revival in 2005, with Andrew Davies' magisterial TV adaptation of Bleak House. This was a far less mannered and parodic take on the dramatic intensity of Dickens' later novels than had hitherto been seen on British TV.

Andrew Davies, writ.: Little Dorrit (2008)

Davies followed it up with an equally brilliant and star-studded adaptation of Little Dorrit a couple of years later, with a breathtaking performance in the title role by a young Claire Foy. This also had the not unfortunate by-product of supplanting Christine Edzard's ambitious but not entirely successful double-film version of 1987.

Christine Edzard, dir. & writ.: Little Dorrit (1987)

At the time this seemed like the best one could expect when it came to putting one of Dickens' most complex novels on screen. Davies seemingly effortlessly surpassed it, though there were certainly some memorable moments in the earlier version.

I've provided a list, below, of the Dickens films and TV serials I happen to have to hand on DVD. I guess, for me, the highpoints would have to be David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948). I also enjoyed the Dirk Bogarde version of A Tale of Two Cities (1958), though, as well as some of the classic BBC adaptations of such novels as The Pickwick Papers (1985), Martin Chuzzlewit (1994) and Our Mutual Friend (1998).

Marc Miller & Wolf Mankowitz, writ.: Dickens of London (1976-77)

Another TV show which had a huge influence on me in my teens was the 13-part Dickens of London. Roy Dotrice made a valiant effort to play both the young and older Dickens, but the sheer ambition of the attempt still seems astonishing now. I was very glad to have the chance to see it again. The episode where Dickens meets Edgar Allan Poe, and reenacts with him a strange version of "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", made a great impression on me at the time.

Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens ['Boz']

    Charles Dickens: Little Dorrit (1857)

    Collected Editions:

  1. The Works of Charles Dickens. 22 vols. Dunedin & Wellington: A. H. Reed, 1931:
    1. Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Everyday Life and Everyday People (1836-39)
    2. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836-37)
    3. Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy’s Progress (1837-39)
    4. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1839)
    5. The Old Curiosity Shop (1841)
    6. Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘80 (1841)
    7. American Notes & Pictures from Italy (1842 & 1846)
    8. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44)
    9. Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol / The Chimes / The Cricket on the Hearth / The Battle of Life / The Haunted Man (1843, 1844, 1845, 1846 & 1848)
    10. Dealings with the Firm of Dombey & Son: Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation (1848)
    11. The Personal History of David Copperfield (1850)
    12. A Child’s History of England (1851-53)
    13. Bleak House (1853)
    14. Hard Times / Hunted Down / Holiday Romance / George Silverman's Explanation (1854 & 1867)
    15. Little Dorrit (1857)
    16. Reprinted Pieces: Also The Lamplighter; To Be Read at Dusk; Sunday Under Three Heads (1858)
    17. A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
    18. Great Expectations (1860-61)
    19. The Uncommercial Traveller (1860-69)
    20. Our Mutual Friend (1864-65)
    21. The Mystery of Edwin Drood & Master Humphrey’s Clock (1870 & 1840)
    22. Christmas Stories: From “Household Words” and “All The Year Round” (1874)

  2. Charles Dickens: The 'Daily News' Memorial Edition (1900-1910)

  3. The 'Daily News' Memorial Edition. 19 vols. London: Chapman & Hall, Ld, n.d. [c.1900-1910]:
    1. Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Everyday Life and Everyday People. Illustrated by George Cruickshank (1836-39)
    2. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Illustrated by Phiz et al (1836-37)
    3. [Oliver Twist / A Tale of Two Cities (1837-39 & 1859)]
    4. [The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1839)]
    5. [The Old Curiosity Shop (1841)]
    6. Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘80. Illustrated (1841)
    7. American Notes / Pictures from Italy / A Child’s History of England (1842, 1846 & 1851-53)
    8. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. Illustrated (1843-44)
    9. Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol / The Chimes / The Cricket on the Hearth / The Battle of Life / The Haunted Man & Hard Times. Illustrated (1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1848 & 1853)
    10. Dealings with the Firm of Dombey & Son: Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation. Illustrated (1848)
    11. The Personal History of David Copperfield. Illustrated (1850)
    12. [Bleak House (1853)]
    13. Little Dorrit. Illustrated by Phiz (1857)
    14. [Great Expectations / The Uncommercial Traveller (1860-61, 1860-69)]
    15. Our Mutual Friend. Illustrated by Marcus Stone (1864-65)
    16. The Mystery of Edwin Drood & Reprinted Pieces. Illustrated (1870 & 1858 40)
    17. Christmas Stories: From “Household Words” and “All The Year Round” & Other Stories: Master Humphrey’s Clock / Hunted Down / Holiday Romance / George Silverman's Explanation. Illustrated (1874, 1840, 1867)
    18. [The Dickens Dictionary, by Gilbert A. Pierce & William A. Wheeler (1880)]
    19. [Life of Charles Dickens, by John Forster (1872-74)]

  4. The Annotated Dickens (2 vols, 1986)

  5. Dickens, Charles. The Annotated Dickens. Ed. Edward Giuliano & Philip Collins. 2 vols. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1986.
    1. The Pickwick Papers (1836-37); Oliver Twist (1837-39); A Christmas Carol (1843); Hard Times (1854)
    2. David Copperfield (1849-50); A Tale of Two Cities (1859); Great Expectations (1860-61)

  6. Charles Dickens: Penguin Classics


  7. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. 1836-37. Ed. Robert L. Patten. Penguin English Library. 1972. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.
  8. Oliver Twist. 1837-39. Ed. Peter Fairclough. Introduction by Angus Wilson. Penguin English Library. 1966. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979.
    • Oliver Twist. 1837-39. Ed. Kathleen Tillotson. 1966. The Clarendon Dickens. Ed. John Butt & Kathleen Tillotson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974.
  9. Nicholas Nickleby. 1839. Ed. Michael Slater. Penguin English Library. 1978. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982.
  10. The Old Curiosity Shop. 1841. Ed. Angus Easson. Introduction by Malcolm Andrews. Penguin English Library. 1972. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.
  11. Barnaby Rudge. 1841. Ed. Gordon Spence. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973.
  12. Martin Chuzzlewit. 1843-44. Ed. P. N. Furbank. Penguin English Library. 1968. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982.
  13. Dombey and Son. 1848. Ed. Peter Fairclough. Introduction by Raymond Williams. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.
  14. The Personal History of David Copperfield. 1850. Ed. Trevor Blount. Penguin Classics. 1966. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.
  15. Bleak House. 1853. Ed. Norman Page. Introduction by J. Hillis Miller. Penguin English Library. 1971. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983.
  16. Hard Times for These Times. 1854. Ed. David Craig. Penguin Classics. 1969. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987.
  17. Little Dorrit. 1857. Ed. John Holloway. Penguin Classics. 1967. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.
  18. A Tale of Two Cities. 1859. Ed. George Woodcock. Penguin English Library. 1970. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982.
  19. Great Expectations. 1861. Ed. Angus Calder. Penguin English Library. 1965. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.
    • Great Expectations. 1860-61. Illustrated by Marcus Stone. The Works of Charles Dickens, National Edition, Volume XXIX. London: Chapman & Hall Ltd., 1907.
  20. Our Mutual Friend. 1864-65. Ed. Stephen Gill. Penguin English Library. 1971. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984.
  21. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. 1870. Ed. Arthur J. Cox. Introduction by Angus Wilson. Penguin English Library. 1974. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.

  22. Charles Dickens: Selected Short Fiction (1976)

    Shorter fiction:

  23. The Christmas Books. Vol. 1: A Christmas Carol / The Chimes. 1843 & 1844. Ed. Michael Slater. Penguin English Library. 1971. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.
  24. The Christmas Books. Vol. 2: The Cricket on the Hearth / The Battle of Life / The Haunted Man. 1845, 1846 & 1848. Ed. Michael Slater. Penguin Classics. 1971. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.
  25. The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose. 1843. Ed. Michael Patrick Hearn. Illustrations by John Leech. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2004.
  26. [with Wilkie Collins] The Wreck of the Golden Mary. 1856. Illustrated by John Dugan. Venture Library. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1961.
  27. Selected Short Fiction. Ed. Deborah A. Thomas. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.
  28. Readings from Dickens. Ed. Emlyn Williams. London: The Folio Society, 1953.
  29. Sikes and Nancy and Other Public Readings. Ed. Philip Collins. 1975. The World’s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

  30. Charles Dickens: Selected Journalism: 1850-1870 (1997)


  31. Sketches by Boz. 1839. Ed. Dennis Walder. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1995.
  32. American Notes. 1842. Ed. Patricia Ingham. 2000. Rev. ed. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2004.
  33. Pictures from Italy. 1846. Ed. Kate Flint. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998.
  34. The Life of Our Lord: Written Expressly for His Children by Charles Dicken. 1849. Foreword by Lady Dickens. 1934. London: Associated Newspapers Ltd., 1934.
  35. Miscellaneous Papers. 1912. The Works of Charles Dickens: Complete Works. Centennial Edition. 2 vols. Geneva: Heron Books, 1970.
  36. Selected Journalism 1850-1870. Ed. David Pascoe. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997.
  37. My Early Times. Ed. Peter Rowland. London: The Folio Society, 1988.
  38. The Dent Uniform Edition of Dickens' Journalism. Ed. Michael Slater. 4 vols. London: J. M. Dent, 1994-2000.
    1. Dickens’ Journalism: Sketches by Boz and Other Early Papers, 1833-39. Illustrations by George Cruikshank et al. 1994. Phoenix Giants. London: The Orion Publishing Group, 1996.
    2. Dickens’ Journalism: ‘The Amusements of the People’ and Other Papers: Reports, Essays and Reviews, 1834-51. 1996. London: J. M. Dent, 1997.
    3. Dickens’ Journalism: ‘Gone Astray’ and Other Papers from Household Words, 1851-59. The Orion Publishing Group Ltd. London: J. M. Dent, 1999.
    4. [with John Drew] Dickens’ Journalism: The Uncommercial Traveller and Other Papers, 1859-1870. The Orion Publishing Group Ltd. London: J. M. Dent, 2000.

  39. Charles Dickens: The Plays and Poems (2 vols, 1882)

    Poetry & Drama:

  40. Dickens, Charles. Complete Plays and Selected Poems. 1970. London: Vision Press Ltd., 1974.

  41. Andrew McConnell Stott: The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi (2009)


  42. Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. 1838. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. London: George Routledge and Sons, n.d. [c.1879].
  43. Stott, Andrew McConnell. The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi. 2009. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd., 2010.

  44. Letters:

  45. The Letters: 1833-1870. Ed. His Sister-in-Law & His Eldest Daughter. 1893. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1903.
  46. The Letters of Charles Dickens: 1820-1839. Ed. Madeline House & Graham Storey. The Pilgrim Edition. Vol. 1 of 12. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1965.

  47. David Lean, dir.: Great Expectations (1946)


  48. The Charles Dickens Collection (2012). 3-DVD set:
    1. Great Expectations, dir. David Lean, writ. David Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Cecil McGivern, Ronald Neame & Kay Walsh – with John Mills, Bernard Miles, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Martita Hunt, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson – (UK, 1946)
    2. Oliver Twist, dir. David Lean, writ. David Lean & Stanley Haynes – with Kay Walsh, John Howard Davies, Alec Guinness – (UK, 1948)
    3. A Tale of Two Cities, dir. Ralph Thomas, writ. T. E. B. Clarke – with Dirk Bogarde, Dorothy Tutin – (UK, 1958)
  49. Dickens of London: 13-part miniseries, created by Wolf Mankowitz & Marc Miller – with Roy Dotrice, Simon Bell, Gene Foad, Lois Baxter, Christine McKenna – (UK, 1976). 4-DVD set.
  50. The Charles Dickens Collection: 8 Classic BBC Adaptations. 12-DVD set:
    1. The Pickwick Papers – with Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Patrick Malahide – (UK, 1985)
    2. Oliver Twist – with Lysette Antony, Ben Rodska, Miriam Margolyes, Eric Porter, Michael Attwell – (UK, 1985)
    3. A Christmas Carol – with Michael Hordern, John Le Mesurier, Bernard Lee – (UK, 1977)
    4. Martin Chuzzlewit – with Paul Scofield, John Mills, Tom Wilkinson, Pete Postlethwaite, Julia Sawlaha, Maggie Steed – (UK, 1994)
    5. David Copperfield – with Daniel Radcliffe, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Cherie Lunghi, Ian McKellan, Ciaran McMenamin – (UK, 1999)
    6. A Tale of Two Cities – with Paul Shelley, Nigel Stock, Sally Osborne – (UK, 1980)
    7. Great Expectations – with Ioan Gruffudd, Charlotte Rampling, Bernard Hill – (UK, 1999)
    8. Our Mutual Friend – with Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Anna Friel, Peter Vaughan, Timothy Spall – (UK, 1998)
  51. Charles Dickens: 200th Anniversary Collection (2012). 9-DVD set:
    1. Bleak House, dir. Justin Chadwick & Susanna White, writ. Andrew Davies – with Denis Lawson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Patrick Kennedy, Carey Mulligan, Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Alun Armstrong, Timothy West, Burn Gorman, Harry Eden – (UK, 2005)
    2. Oliver Twist, dir. Coky Giedroyc, writ. Sarah Phelps – with William Miller, Adam Arnold, Tom Hardy, Timothy Spall, Julian Rhind Tutt – (UK, 2007)
    3. Little Dorrit, dir. Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh, & Diarmuid Lawrence, writ. Andrew Davies – with Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay, Judy Parfitt – (UK, 2008)
    4. Great Expectations, dir. Brian Kirk, writ. Sarah Phelps – with Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, Douglas Booth, Vanessa Kirby, David Suchet – (UK, 2011)
  52. The Man Who Invented Christmas, dir. Bharat Nalluri, writ. Susan Coyne (based on the book by Les Standiford) – with Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce – (Ireland / Canada, 2017).

  53. Edgar Johnson: Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph (2 vols, 1952)


  54. Ackroyd, Peter. Dickens' London: An Imaginative Vision. London: Headline Book Publishing PLC., 1987.
  55. Ackroyd, Peter. Dickens. London: Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd., 1990.
  56. Butt, John, & Kathleen Tillotson. Dickens at Work. 1957. London & New York: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1982.
  57. Chesterton, G. K. Charles Dickens. 1906. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1919.
  58. Chesterton, G. K. Criticisms and Appreciations of Charles Dickens’ Works. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1911.
  59. Forster, John. The Life of Charles Dickens. With Thirty-Two Illustrations. 1872-74. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, n.d.
  60. Hardwick, Michael & Mollie. The Charles Dickens Encyclopedia. 1973. An Omega Book. London: Futura Publications Limited, 1976.
  61. Hibbert, Christopher. The Making of Charles Dickens. 1967. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983.
  62. House, Humphry. The Dickens World. 1941. London: Geoffrey Cumberlege / Oxford University Press, 1950.
  63. Johnson, Edgar. Charles Dickens. His Tragedy and Triumph. 2 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1952.
  64. Pope-Hennessy, Una. Charles Dickens: 1812-1870. 1945. London: The Reprint Society, 1947.
  65. Slater, Michael. Dickens and Women. 1983. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1986.
  66. Slater, Michael. Charles Dickens. 2009. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2011.
  67. Slater, Michael. The Great Charles Dickens Scandal. 2012. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2014.
  68. Tillotson, Kathleen. 'Dombey and Son.' In Novels of the Eighteen-Forties. 1954. Oxford Paperbacks. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.
  69. Tomalin, Claire. The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. 1990. London: Penguin, 1991.
  70. Tomalin, Claire. Charles Dickens: A Life. 2011. London: Penguin, 2012.
  71. Wilson, Angus. The World of Charles Dickens. 1970. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.

  72. Angus Wilson: The World of Charles Dickens (1970)

The World of Charles Dickens
[photograph: Bronwyn Lloyd (2022)]

Thursday, January 06, 2022

SF Luminaries: Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)

Ever since I first picked up a scruffy secondhand paperback copy in a local bookshop, I've been entranced by A Canticle for Leibowitz. As you can see from the montage below, there's been no shortage of editions and reprints of this 'famous and prophetic best seller of the new dark age of man". What of its author, though? Who was this strange man Walter M. Miller, Jr.?

Walter M. Miller, Jr.: Leibowitz covers

Well, as W. H. Auden states so succinctly in his sonnet Who's Who: "A shilling life will give you all the facts" - or, as in this case, a brief consultation of the relevant wikipedia entry:
Miller was born on January 23, 1923, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Educated at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas, he worked as an engineer. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces as a radioman and tail gunner, flying more than fifty bombing missions over Italy. He took part in the bombing of the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino, which proved a traumatic experience for him. Joe Haldeman reported that Miller "had post-traumatic stress disorder for 30 years before it had a name"

Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)

Joe Haldeman is, of course, the author of the classic Vietnam-cum-SF novel The Forever War, still in print after almost fifty years.
After the war, Miller converted to Catholicism ... Between 1951 and 1957, [he] published over three dozen science fiction short stories, winning a Hugo Award in 1955 for the story "The Darfsteller".

Late in the 1950s, Miller assembled a novel from three closely related novellas he had published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The novel, entitled A Canticle for Leibowitz, was published in 1959. It is a post-apocalyptic novel revolving around the canonisation of Saint Leibowitz, and is considered a masterpiece of the genre. It won the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

After the success of A Canticle for Leibowitz, Miller ceased publishing, although several compilations of Miller's earlier stories were issued in the 1960s and 1970s.

In Miller's later years, he became a recluse, avoiding contact with nearly everyone, including family members; he never allowed his literary agent, Don Congdon, to meet him. According to science fiction writer Terry Bisson, Miller struggled with depression, but had managed to nearly complete a 600-page manuscript for the sequel to Canticle before taking his own life with a firearm on January 9, 1996, shortly after his wife's death.

The sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, was completed by Bisson at Miller's request and published in 1997.

Walter M. Miller, Jr.: Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (1997)

I wish I could say that this last, posthumous work of fiction was a triumphant vindication of his decades in the wilderness. Alas, it is not. Various of the commentators on his Goodreads page do their best to defend it:
[Dropping Out]: Miller's "problem" was that he hit a grand-slam home-run in Canticle, and he spent the remainder of what must have been a sad and frustrating life trying to get out from under Canticle's shadow. ...

[Jason]: Saint Leibowitz reminded me very much of Herbert's Dune. They are both sprawling novels dealing with the political machinations of both Church and State, and they both center on the manipulations of the mysterious, isolated, less-civilized nomadic peoples whose loyalties will tip the balance of power.

[Doreen]: Oddly enough, I seem to be one of the few people here who enjoyed the sequel much more than its predecessor. I found A Canticle... devoid of much of the human suffering that pervades this book, which questions the conflict between faith and tradition, desire and happiness, and what it means to be a good human being.
Others seem more inclined to tell it like it is:
[Bryn Hammond]: There’s almost no science fiction left. It was much more like reading a (burlesque) historical fiction on the medieval church, muddled up with the American West. Canticle’s concerns with science aren’t pursued, and the post-nuclear-war setting becomes accidental.

[Jon]: The sequel to A Canticle for Leibowitz was thirty years in the making, but unfortunately, Miller seems to have forgotten how to write a novel in those decades. Many of the moral and ethical arguments that made Canticle so brilliant are still present, as is the occasional bit of dry humor, but these are overshadowed by long and drawn-out passages, poor plotting, and a conclusion that seems to have been hastily written the night before the book went to press (the "Wild Horse Woman" from the title, for example, virtually never appears in the novel; I'm still confused as to why her name appears so prominently on the book's spine)
Perhaps the best overall summary comes from Zoe's Human:
Life is too short for books you don't enjoy.

Maybe the fault is mine for trying to read this right after A Canticle for Leibowitz which would be a tough act to follow for anyone (including, apparently, the author who wrote it). Perhaps my expectations were just too high. This started off well enough with a nice premise about loss of faith, but it kind of fizzled after the first two or three chapters.

Or perhaps the fact that the author was suicidally depressed and took his own life before he finished it was a factor. Another author finished it from a reportedly almost complete manuscript, but how complete was it really? And how much did the original author's struggle with mental illness factor in?

One of Miller's rarer stories, not included in any of the various collections of his short fiction, is "Izzard and the Membrane." An extra level of confusion is added by the fact that the book above, which I inherited from my father's science fiction collection, is the 1953 UK edition of a book which originally appeared in the USA in 1952. Despite its publication date, then, it actually constitutes The Year's Best Science Fiction Novels 1952, not 1953:

The American edition also included an extra story, Arthur C. Clarke's "Seeker of the Sphinx", presumably omitted from the British reprint for copyright reasons.

The reason this bibliographical minutiae seems worth stressing is because "Izzard and the Membrane" is quite a remarkable story, every bit the equal of most of the novellas included in his officially sanctioned collections. Its cold war stereotypes may be a little dated now, but Miller's astonishing intuitions about the possibilities of computer artificial intelligence and the creation of alternate realities are worthy of the creators of Westworld or the Metaverse itself.

So good is it, in fact, that it makes one feel rather curious about some of the other stories I've tried to list below as comprehensively as possible. By my count he wrote 43 stories in all (at least two of which were not SF). Of these 41, a mere fourteen were collected in his final selection The Best of Walter M. Miller, Jr. (1980) - subsequently reprinted under other titles, but without any expansion of the contents.

That leaves at least 26 other stories to read (not counting the two romance stories and a co-authored crime story) from that incredibly productive period of writing between 1951 and 1957. There may well be some duds among them, but it seems hard to believe that only "Izzard" is worthy of resurrection among such a number of pieces published - for the most part - in the top SF journals of the day.

That's the new Walter M. Miller book I'm holding out for: not the last, incomplete, rather depressing Saint Leibowitz. After all, his short stories and short novels were always his strongest work. From the much-anthologised "Crucifixus Etiam," with its unforgettable image of the purgatorial plains of Mars, to ,"Big Joe and the Nth Generation" (aka "It Takes a Thief"), he showed a flair for memorable characterisation and arresting plotlines second to none - not even such celebrated contemporaries as Philip K. Dick and Robert A. Heinlein.

James Blish: A Case of Conscience (1958)

That's not to say that there was anything unprecedented about Miller's trajectory from slam-bang Sci-fi to the subtleties of religious dogma in the apocalypse-haunted 1950s. It wasn't just mainstream fiction which had become obsessed with the ethical dilemmas associated with (mainly Catholic) Christianity. Authors such as Graham Greene, François Mauriac and Evelyn Waugh dominated the bestseller lists, and it seemed for a while there as if the twin blows of Hiroshima and Auschwitz had discredited scientific reductionism for good.

James Blish's A Case of Conscience is a good example - within the strict genre-boundaries of SF - of this type of writing. It could apparently then be taken for granted that monastic orders would accompany any future space-faring expeditions, and that the local religious concerns of this world were bound to find echoes out in the great beyond.

C. S. Lewis: The Cosmic Trilogy (1938-45)

C. S. Lewis's interplanetary trilogy undoubtedly helped to demonstrate the viability of such themes in a genre still dominated by the rationalist assumptions of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. Ray Bradbury got in on the act, too, in his story "The Fire Balloons" [aka "In This Sign ..."] included in some editions of his classic Martian Chronicles.

In a way, though, despite his obvious affinity with other such earnest Catholic strivers in the 1950s, the sheer philosophical scope of Miller's Canticle seems to me to have more in common with Hermann Hesse's Glass Bead Game (1943) than with the likes of Blish, Bradbury or Lewis.

Ray Bradbury: The Fire Balloons (1951)

Its popularity then and since has undoubtedly depended to some extent on its links with other SF apocalypses of the 1950s: George Stewart's Earth Abides (1949), or Philip K. Dick's zany Dr Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965). A Canticle for Leibowitz continues to evade us, though. It has elements of all of these things - Catholic apologia, SF Apocalypse, Dystopian satire - and yet it can't be said to be subsumed entirely by any of them.

George R. Stewart: Earth Abides (1949)

I do hope one day to be able to purchase at least some of the uncollected stories of Walter M. Miller in convenient book form, but there's certainly a strong case for believing that everything significant he had to say was contained in this one, stand-alone masterpiece. His mistake, then - if mistake it was - lay in thinking he could emulate or even surpass it in his final few years.

Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)

Walter M. Miller, Jr. (1923-1996)

Walter Michael Miller, Jr.


  1. A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
    1. Fiat Homo [aka 'A Canticle for Leibowitz'] (1955)
    2. Fiat Lux [aka 'And the Light is Risen'] (1956)
    3. Fiat Voluntas Tua [aka 'The Last Canticle'] (1957)
    • A Canticle for Leibowitz: A Novel. 1959. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1960.
    • A Canticle for Leibowitz. 1959. Corgi Science-Fiction. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd., 1970.
  2. [with Terry Bisson] Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (1997)
    • Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman. Ed. Terry Bisson. 1997. An Orbit Book. London: Little, Brown and Company (UK), 1998.

  3. Collections:

  4. The Year’s Best Science Fiction Novels. Ed. Everett F. Bleiler & T. E. Dikty. London: Grayson & Grayson, 1953.
    1. Izzard and the Membrane, by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
    2. … And Then There Were None, by Eric Frank Russell
    3. Flight to Forever, by Poul Anderson
    4. The Hunting Season, by Frank M. Robinson
  5. Conditionally Human (1962)
    1. Conditionally Human (1952)
    2. The Darfsteller (1955)
    3. Dark Benediction (1951)
  6. The View from the Stars (1965)
    1. Blood Bank (1952)
    2. Dumb Waiter (1952)
    3. Anybody Else Like Me? (1952)
    4. The Big Hunger (1952)
    5. The Will (1954)
    6. Crucifixus Etiam (1953)
    7. I, Dreamer (1953)
    8. Big Joe and the Nth Generation (1952)
    9. You Triflin' Skunk! (1955)
  7. The Science Fiction Stories of Walter M. Miller Jr. (1977)
    1. Conditionally Human (1952)
    2. Blood Bank (1952)
    3. Dark Benediction (1951)
    4. Dumb Waiter (1952)
    5. Anybody Else Like Me? (1952)
    6. The Big Hunger (1952)
    7. The Darfsteller (1955)
    8. The Will (1954)
    9. Crucifixus Etiam (1953)
    10. I, Dreamer (1953)
    11. Big Joe and the Nth Generation (1952)
    12. You Triflin' Skunk! (1955)
  8. Conditionally Human and Other Stories. 1980. Corgi Science-Fiction. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd., 1982.
    1. Conditionally Human (1952)
    2. Blood Bank (1952)
    3. Dark Benediction (1951)
    4. Dumb Waiter (1952)
    5. Anybody Else Like Me? (1952)
    6. The Big Hunger (1952)
  9. The Darfsteller and Other Stories. 1980. Corgi Science-Fiction. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd., 1982.
    1. The Darfsteller (1955)
    2. The Will (1954)
    3. Vengeance for Nikolai (1957)
    4. Crucifixus Etiam (1953)
    5. I, Dreamer (1953)
    6. The Lineman (1957)
    7. Big Joe and the Nth Generation (1952)
    8. You Triflin' Skunk! (1955)
  10. Dark Benediction. [aka 'The Best of Walter M. Miller, Jr.', 1980]. SF Masterworks. Gollancz. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2007.
    1. Conditionally Human (1952)
    2. Blood Bank (1952)
    3. Dark Benediction (1951)
    4. Dumb Waiter (1952)
    5. Anybody Else Like Me? (1952)
    6. The Big Hunger (1952)
    7. The Darfsteller (1955)
    8. The Will (1954)
    9. Vengeance for Nikolai (1957)
    10. Crucifixus Etiam (1953)
    11. I, Dreamer (1953)
    12. The Lineman (1957)
    13. Big Joe and the Nth Generation (1952)
    14. You Triflin' Skunk! (1955)
  11. Two Worlds of Walter M. Miller (2010)
    1. The Hoofer (1955)
    2. Death of a Spaceman (1954)

  12. Chapbooks:

  13. The Hoofer [1955] (2009)
  14. Death of a Spaceman [1954] (2009)
  15. Way of a Rebel [1954] (2010)
  16. Check and Checkmate [1953] (2010)
  17. The Ties That Bind [1954] (2010)
  18. Conditionally Human [1952] (2016)
  19. It Takes a Thief [1952] (2019)

  20. Short Stories & Novellas:

    [Included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Novels (1952);
    A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959);
    Conditionally Human (1962);
    The View from the Stars (1965);
    The Best of Walter M. Miller, Jr. (1980);
    Two Worlds of Walter M. Miller (2010)]

    1. MacDoughal's Wife [not SF] (1950)
    2. Month of Mary [not SF] (1950)
    3. Secret of the Death Dome [novella] (1951)
    4. Izzard and the Membrane [novella] (1951)
    5. The Soul-Empty Ones [novella] (1951)
    6. Dark Benediction [novella] (1951)
    7. The Space Witch [novella] (1951)
    8. The Song of Vorhu ... for Trumpet and Kettledrum [novella] (1951)
    9. The Little Creeps [novella] (1951)
    10. The Reluctant Traitor [novella] (1952)
    11. Conditionally Human [novella] (1952)
    12. Bitter Victory (1952)
    13. Dumb Waiter [novella] (1952)
    14. Big Joe and the Nth Generation {aka "It Takes a Thief"} (1952)
    15. Blood Bank [novella] (1952)
    16. Six and Ten Are Johnny [novella] (1952)
    17. Let My People Go [novella] (1952)
    18. Cold Awakening [novella] (1952)
    19. Please Me Plus Three [novella] (1952)
    20. No Moon for Me (1952)
    21. The Big Hunger (1952)
    22. Gravesong (1952)
    23. Anybody Else Like Me? {aka "Command Performance"} [novella] (1952)
    24. A Family Matter (1952)
    25. Check and Checkmate [novella] (1953)
    26. Crucifixus Etiam {aka "The Sower Does Not Reap"} (1953)
    27. I, Dreamer (1953)
    28. The Yokel [novella] (1953)
    29. Wolf Pack (1953)
    30. The Will (1954)
    31. Death of a Spaceman {aka "Memento Homo"} (1954)
    32. I Made You (1954)
    33. Way of a Rebel (1954)
    34. The Ties that Bind [novella] (1954)
    35. The Darfsteller [novella] (1955)
    36. You Triflin' Skunk! {aka "The Triflin' Man"} (1955)
    37. A Canticle for Leibowitz {aka "The First Canticle"} [novella] (1955)
    38. The Hoofer (1955)
    39. And the Light is Risen [novella] (1956)
    40. The Last Canticle [novella] (1957)
    41. Vengeance for Nikolai {aka "The Song of Marya"} (1957)
    42. [with Lincoln Boone] The Corpse in Your Bed is Me (1957)
    43. The Lineman [novella] (1957)


  21. David N. Samuelson, "The Lost Canticles of Walter M. Miller, Jr." Science Fiction Studies #8 (Vol 3, part 1) (March 1976) - "Appendix: The Books and Stories of Walter M. Miller, Jr.":
    1. "Secret of the Death Dome," novelette, Amazing (January, 1951; reprinted in Amazing (June, 1966).
    2. "Izzard and the Membrane," novelette, Astounding (May, 1951); anthologized in Everett Bleiler and T.E. Dikty, eds., Year’s Best Science Fiction Novels: 1952 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1952).
    3. "The Soul-Empty Ones," novelette, Astounding (August, 1951).
    4. "Dark Benediction," short novel, Fantastic Adventures (September, 1951); collected in Conditionally Human (1962).
    5. "The Space Witch," novelette, Amazing (November, 1951); reprinted in Amazing (October, 1966).
    6. "The Song of Vorhu ... for Trumpet and Kettledrum," novelette, Thrilling Wonder Stories (December, 1951).
    7. "The Little Creeps," novelette, Amazing (December, 1951); reprinted in Fantastic (May, 1968); anthologized in Milton Lesser, ed., Looking Forward (New York: Beechhurst, 1953).
    8. "The Reluctant Traitor," short novel, Amazing (January, 1952).
    9. "Conditionally Human," novelette, Galaxy (February, 1952); revised and collected in Conditionally Human (1962); anthologized in Everett Bleiler and T.E. Dikty, eds., Year’s Best Science Fiction Novels: 1953 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1953).
    10. "Bitter Victory," short story, IF (March, 1952).
    11. "Dumb Waiter," novelette, Astounding (April, 1952); collected in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Groff Conklin, ed., Science Fiction Thinking Machines (New York: Vanguard, 1954) and Damon Knight, Cities of Wonder (Garden City: Doubleday, 1966).
    12. "It Takes a Thief," short story, IF (May, 1952); collected, as "Big Joe and the Nth Generation," in The View from the Stars (1965).
    13. "Blood Bank," novelette, Astounding (June, 1952); collected in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Martin Greenberg, ed., All About the Future (New York: Gnome Press, 1953).
    14. "Six and Ten are Johnny," novelette, Fantastic (Summer, 1952); reprinted in Fantastic (January, 1966).
    15. "Let My People Go," short novel, IF (July, 1952).
    16. "Cold Awakening," novelette, Astounding (August, 1952).
    17. "Please Me Plus Three," novelette, Other Worlds (August, 1952).
    18. "No Moon for Me," short story, Astounding (September, 1952); anthologized in William Sloane, ed., Space, Space, Space (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1953).
    19. "The Big Hunger," short story, Astounding (October, 1952); collected in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Donald A Wollheim, ed., Prize Science Fiction (New York: McBride, 1953).
    20. "Gravesong," short story, Startling (October, 1952).
    21. "Command Performance," novelette, Galaxy (November, 1952); collected, as "Anybody Else Like Me?" in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Everett Bleiler and T.E. Dikty, eds., The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1953 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1953); Horace Gold, ed., The Second Galaxy Reader (New York: Crown, 1954); and Brian W. Aldiss, ed., Penguin Science Fiction (London: Penguin, 1961).
    22. "A Family Matter," short story, Fantastic Story Magazine (November, 1952).
    23. "Check and Checkmate," novelette, IF (January, 1953).
    24. "Crucifixus Etiam," short story, Astounding (February, 1953); collected in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Everett Bleiler and T.E. Dikty, eds., The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1954 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1954); Judith Merril, ed., Human? (New York: Lion, 1954); Michael Sissons, ed., Asleep in Armageddon (London: Panther, 1962); Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest, eds., Spectrum V (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1966); and Robert Silverberg, ed., Tomorrow’s Worlds (New York: Meredith, 1969).
    25. "I, Dreamer," short story, Amazing (July, 1953); collected in The View from the Stars (1965).
    26. "The Yokel," novelette, Amazing (September, 1953).
    27. "The Wolf Pack," short story, Fantastic (Oct., 1953); reprinted in Fantastic (May, 1966); anthologized in Judith Merril, ed., Beyond the Barriers of Space and Time (New York: Random House, 1954).
    28. "The Will," short story, Fantastic (February, 1954); reprinted in Fantastic (April, 1969); collected in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in T.E. Dikty, ed., The Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels: 1955 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1955).
    29. "Death of a Spaceman," short story, Amazing (March, 1954); reprinted in Amazing (March, 1969); anthologized in William F. Nolan, ed., A Wilderness of Stars (Los Angeles: Sherbourne Press, 1971); anthologized as "Memento Homo" in T.E. Dikty, ed., The Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels: 1955 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1955); Robert P. Mills, ed., The Worlds of Science Fiction (New York: Dial Press, 1963); and Laurence M. Janifer, ed., Masters’ Choice (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966).
    30. "I Made You," short story, Astounding (March, 1954).
    31. "Way of a Rebel," short story, IF (April, 1954).
    32. "The Ties that Bind," novelette, IF (May, 1954); anthologized in William F. Nolan, ed., A Sea of Space (New York: Bantam, 1970).
    33. "The Darfsteller," short novel, Astounding (January, 1955); collected in Conditionally Human (1962); anthologized in Isaac Asimov, ed., The Hugo Winners (Garden City: Doubleday, 1962).
    34. "The Triflin’ Man," short story, Fantastic Universe (January, 1955); collected as "You Triflin’ Skunk" in The View from the Stars (1965); anthologized in Judith Merril, ed., Galaxy of Ghouls (New York: Lion, 1955).
    35. "A Canticle for Leibowitz," short novel, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F & SF) (April, 1955); revised as part of A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959); anthologized in T.E. Dikty, ed., Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels: 1956 (New York: Frederick Fell, 1956); Anthony Boucher, ed., The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, fifth series (Garden City: Doubleday, 1956); and Christopher Cerf, ed., The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy (New York: Vintage, 1966).
    36. "The Hoofer," short story, Fantastic Universe (September, 1955); anthologized in Judith Merril, ed., S_F: The Year’s Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy (New York: Dell, 1956), and S-F: The Best of the Best (New York: Dell, 1968).
    37. "And the Light is Risen," short novel, F & SF (August, 1956); revised as part of A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959).
    38. "The Last Canticle," short novel, F & SF (February, 1957); revised as part of A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959).
    39. "Vengeance for Nikolai," short story, Venture (March, 1957); anthologized in Joseph Ferman, ed., No Limits (New York: Ballantine, 1958).
    40. "The Corpse in Your Bed is Me," short story co-authored by Lincoln Boone, Venture (May, 1957).
    41. "The Lineman," short novel, F & SF (August, 1957); anthologized in William F. Nolan, ed., A Wilderness of Stars (Los Angeles: Sherbourne Press, 1971).

Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)