The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent: Selected Essays

– Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2008. Original edition: New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000.
Summary: Bringing together the thoughts of one of American literature’s sharpest cultural critics, this compendium will open the eyes of a whole new audience to the work of Lionel Trilling.  Trilling was a strenuous thinker who was proud to think “too… More

Speaking of Literature and Society

– Trilling, Diana, ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980.
Summary: “Diana Trilling selected pieces from her husband’s previously uncollected writings covering the wide range of Trilling’s concerns from his undergraduate days through his final years.” Contents: The Poems of Emily… More

The Last Decade: Essays and Reviews, 1965-1975

– Ed. Diana Trilling. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.
Summary: “Pieces written during the last ten years of Trilling’s life include important statements on Joyce, Austen, and Freud, a probing investigation of modern art, a memoir of Trilling’s acquaintance with Whittaker Chambers, and the… More

“Of This Time, Of That Place” and Other Stories

– Trilling, Diana, compiler. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.
Summary: “Five modern stories reveal the imagination and sensitivity of a preeminent literary critic toward the plight of the mentally ill and racial, religious, and economic minorities.” Contents: “Impediments” “The Other… More

The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Romantic Poetry and Prose

– Edited by Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.
This volume devotes over 100 pages to William Blake, including The Book of Thel and the entire “Night the Ninth” from The Four Zoas, as well as excerpts fromMilton and Jerusalem. It also includes poems and prose by Wordsworth, Coleridge,… More

Sincerity and Authenticity

– The Carles Eliot Norton Lectures, 1969-1970. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972.
Summary: “Now and then,” writes Lionel Triling “it is possible to observe the moral life in process of revising itself.” In this new book he is concerned with such a mutation: the process by which the arduous enterprise of sincerity,… More

Literary Criticism: An Introductory Reader

– Edited with a Preface and Introduction by Lionel Trilling. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.
This anthology contains an introduction published as an essay in The Last Decade: Essays and Reviews, 1965-1975.

Prefaces to The Experience of Literature

– New York: Harcourt, 1967.
Summary: “Introductions to works by authors as varied as Sophocles, Hemingway, Blake, Lawrence, and Lowell, all of which appeared originally in Trilling’s unique anthology, are brought together to provide insight into masterpieces of world drama,… More

The Experience of Literature: A Reader with Commentaries

– Edited by Lionel Trilling. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.
This anthology contains a selection of great literary works along with Trilling’s expert and incisive prefaces to each. The prefaces were ultimately gathered and published without the accompanying works.

Beyond Culture: Essays on Literature and Learning

– New York: Viking, 1965.
Summary: “In essays on education, literature, and psychoanalysis, Trilling addresses himself to the assumptions made by those who define themselves in terms of their relation to the ideals of social and political progress.” Contents: On the… More

A Gathering of Fugitives

– Boston: Beacon Press, 1956.
Summary: “Writings on general cultural issues accompany discussions of such authors as Edith Wharton, Robert Graves, C. P. Snow, and Charles Dickens.” Contents: The Great Aunt of Mr. Forester In Defense of Zola A Ramble on Graves The Morality of… More

The Opposing Self: Nine Essays in Criticism

– New York: Viking, 1955.
Summary: “Analytical studies trace the development theme of the individual in selected novels, letters, and poems from the end of the eighteenth century to the present.”   Excerpt: The best account of the strange, bitter, dramatic relation… More

The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society

– New York: Viking Press, 1950.
Summary: “The Liberal Imagination is one of the most admired and influential works of criticism of the last century, a work that is not only a masterpiece of literary criticism but an important statement about politics and society. Published in 1950,… More

The Middle of the Journey

– New York: Viking, 1947.
Published in 1947, as the cold war was heating up, Lionel Trilling’s only novel was a prophetic reckoning with the bitter ideological disputes that were to come to a head in the McCarthy era. The Middle of the Journey revolves around a political turncoat… More

E.M. Forster

– New York: New Directions, 1943.
Summary: “A concise critical study of Forster’s personality, short stories, and novels”

Matthew Arnold

– New York: Norton, 1939.
A study of the work and thought of Matthew Arnold