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, fiction, and poetry.”



Sophocles: Oedipus Rex
William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of King Lear
Henrik Ibsen: The Wild Duck
Anton Chekhov: The Three Sisters
George Bernard Shaw: The Doctor’s Dilemma
Luigi Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an Author: A Comedy in the Making
William Butler Yeats: Purgatory
Bertolt Brecht: Galileo


Nathaniel Hawthorne: My Kinsman, Major Molineux
Hermon Melville: Bartleby The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street
Fëdor Dostoevski: The Grand Inquisitor
Leo Tolstoi: The Death of Ivan Ilych
William Somerset Maugham: The Treasure
Guy de Maupassant: Duchoux
Anton Chekhov: Enemies
Henry James: The Pupil
Joseph Conrad: The Secret Sharer
James Joyce: The Dead
Franz Kafka: The Hunter Gracchus
D.H. Lawrence: Tickets, Please
E.M. Forster: The Road from Colonus
Thomas Mann: Disorder and Early Sorrow
Isaac Babel: Di Grasso: A Tale of Odessa
Isak Dinesen: The Sailor-Boy’s Tale
Ernest Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants
William Faulkner: Barn Burning
John O’Hara: Summer’s Day
Lionel Trilling: Of This Time, of That Place
Albert Camus: The Guest
Bernard Malamud: The Magic Barrel


Anonymous: Edward
Sir Thomas Wyatt: They Flee from Me
John Donne: A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
John Milton: Lycidas
Andrew Marvell: To His Coy Mistress
Alexander Pope: An Essay on Man: Epistle 1
William Blake: Tyger! Tyger!
William Wordsworth: Resolution and Independence
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Kubla Khan or A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment
George Gordon, Lord Byron: Don Juan: An Episode from Canto II
Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ode to the West Wind
John Keats: Ode to a Nightingale
Matthew Arnold: Dover Beach
Wald Whitman: Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
Emily Dickinson: “Go Tell It”—What a Message
William Butler Yeats: Sailing to Byzantium
Thomas Stearns Eliot: The Waste Land
Robert Frost: Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
E.E. Cumings: My Father Moved Through Dooms of Love
W.H. Auden: In Memory of Sigmund Freud (d. 1939)
Robert Lowell: For the Union Dead

Also contains the essay “Literature and Power.”

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