Screeno: Stories & Poems

Stories, Fiction

Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) was one of the finest writers of his generation. Winner of the prestigious Bollingen Prize and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award, he was hailed by John Ashbery as “one of the major twentieth-century poets." Schwartz's stories were also widely read and loved, admired by James Atlas for their "unique style that enabled Schwartz to depict his characters with a sort of childlike verisimilitude." Graced with an introduction by Cynthia Ozick, this New Directions Bibelot, Screeno: Stories & Poems, gathers many of Schwartz's most popular works, including: "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities," "America, America!" "The Heavy Bear who Goes with Me," and "Screeno." Also included is a newly discovered story, "The Heights of Joy," which appeared in the magazine Boulevard in 2002. Delmore Schwartz's life is legendary. The brightest star of the Partisan Review's post-war intellectual circle, a lecturer at Harvard and Princeton, and perhaps the greatest poet of his generation, he was stricken by a cruel mental illness and died after living in solitude in a Manhattan hotel. Yet it is his work that endures: "What complicates and enriches Schwartz's comedy," says Irving Howe, "is, I think, a reaching out toward nobility, a shy aspiring spirituality, a moment or two of achieved purity of feeling."