Matthew Arnold cover

Matthew Arnold

New York: Norton, 1939.

A study of the work and thought of Matthew Arnold
E.M. Forester cover

E.M. Forster

New York: New Directions, 1943.

Summary: “A concise critical study of Forster’s personality, short stories, and novels”
Middle of the Journey cover

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 and the anger his action… More
The Liberal Imagination cover

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, one of the chillier moments of… More
The Opposing Self cover

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 between the modern self and the… More
A Gathering of Fugitives cover

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 Inertia The Dickens of Our Day… More
Beyond Culture cover

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 Teaching of Modern Literature Emma… More
The Experience of Literature cover

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.

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.”… More
Literary Criticism cover

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.
Sincerity and Authenticity Cover

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, of being true to one’s… More
Oxford Anthology of English Literature cover

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, Keats, Shelley, and Byron. -from… 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 Margaret” “Notes on a… 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 lecture Mind in the Modern… 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 Brontë (1924) A Study of… More
The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent cover

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 much.”  As an intellectual he… More