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- DescriptionThis is a collection of some of the best stories ever written. The list of authors include Poe, Kafka, Wilde and Irving. Here is a summary of the stories: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by American author Washington Irving, contained in his collection of 34 essays and short stories entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Written while Irving was living abroad in Birmingham, England, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was first published in 1820. Along with Irving's companion piece Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity. The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1843. It is told by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, while describing a murder he committed. (The victim was an old man with a filmy vulture eye, as the narrator calls it.) The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by dismembering it and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator's guilt manifests itself in the form of the sound - possibly hallucinatory - of the old man's heart still beating under the floorboards. It is unclear what relationship, if any, the old man and his murderer share. The narrator denies having any feelings of hatred or resentment for the man. He states: 'I loved the old man! He had never wronged me! He had never given me insult!'. He also denies the assumption that he killed for greed: 'Object there was ne.', 'For his gold I had desire.' It has been suggested that the old man is a father figure, the narrator's landlord, or that the narrator works for the old man as a servant, and that perhaps his vulture eye represents some sort of veiled secret, or power. The ambiguity and lack of details about the two main characters stand in stark contrast to the specific plot details leading up to the murder. The story was first published in James Russell Lowell's The Pioneer in January 1843. The Tell-Tale Heart is widely considered a classic of the Gothic fiction genre and is one of Poe's most famous short stories. The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung, also sometimes translated as The Transformation) is a vella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed (metamorphosed) into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Samsa's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka never did give an explanation. The rest of Kafka's vella deals with Gregor's attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repulsed by the horrible, vermius creature Gregor has become. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published vel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. The magazine's editors feared the story was indecent as submitted, so they censored roughly 500 words, without Wilde's kwledge, before publication. But even with that, the story was still greeted with outrage by British reviewers, some of whom suggested that Wilde should be prosecuted on moral grounds, leading Wilde to defend the vel aggressively in letters to the British press. Wilde later revised the story for book publication, making substantial alterations, deleting controversial passages, adding new chapters and including an aphoristic Preface which has since become famous in its own right. The amended version was published by Ward, Lock and Company in April 1891. Some scholars believe that Wilde would today have wanted us to read the version he originally submitted to Lippincott's.
- Author BiographyWashington Irving (April 3, 1783 - November 28, 1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 - 3 June 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism. Most of his works, such as Die Verwandlung ( The Metamorphosis ), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle), are filled with the themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent-child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, labyrinths of bureaucracy, and mystical transformations. Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his only novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray), his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
- Author(s)Edgar Allan Poe,Franz Kafka,Washington Irving
- Date of Publication11/11/2013
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectGeneral & Literary Fiction
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight349 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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