There's no baseness I wouldn't commit for Jeffrey Aspern's sake. The Aspern Papers
is one of James's best-known and most accomplished novellas, whose plot foreshadows the modern cult of the writer as celebrity, and the hunger to uncover previously unseen writings. Indeed, in all four stories collected here--including The Death of the Lion, The Figure in the Carpet and The Birthplace--the figure of the artist is central. Extraordinarily prophetic, James explores the emergent new cult of the writer as celebrity, and asks: can the person behind the art ever truly be known, and can our knowledge of the artist's life ever explain the act of creativity.
The collection features an Introduction by distinguished James scholar Adrian Poole, who explores the central themes of all four stories and their literary contexts. In addition, Poole includes relevant extracts from James's Prefaces and Notebooks in which the origins and development of the stories are described as well as an appendix on stage and screen versions of The Aspern Papers
. Reproducing the definitive New York Edition text, the volume includes a new Select Bibliography, new and revised notes, and an appendix of variant readings. About the Series:
For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics
has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.