The Collected Stories

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1986 - Fiction - 362 pages
25 Reviews

Here, too, are stories originally written for radio and television and, in a short appendix, the schoolboy pieces first published in the Swansea Grammar School Magazine. A highpoint of the collection is Thomas's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, a vivid collage of memories from his Swansea childhood that combines the lyricism of his poetry with the sparkle and sly humor of Under Milk Wood. Also here is the fiction from Quite Early One Morning, a collection planned by Thomas shortly before his death.

Altogether there are more than forty stories, providing a rich and varied literary feast and showing Dylan Thomas in all his intriguing variety-somber fantasist, joyous word-spinner, comedian of smalltown Wales. The book includes an entertaining, informative reflection on Thomas by another Welsh poet and storyteller, Leslie Norris, as well as a brief listing of publication details by Professor Walford Davies, editor of Dylan Thomas: Early Prose Works.

 

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Review: The Collected Stories

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

Very intricate. And dark -- almost gothic. Another book I've owned for years and have never finished. Maybe because it requires my full attention when I read it. Read full review

Review: The Collected Stories

User Review  - Goodreads

Very intricate. And dark -- almost gothic. Another book I've owned for years and have never finished. Maybe because it requires my full attention when I read it. Read full review

All 16 reviews »

Contents

The Tree
5
The Dress
21
The Burning Baby
35
The End of the River
49
The School for Witches
65
A Prospect of the Sea
87
Prologue to an Adventure
104
An Adventure from a Work in Progress
117
Quite Early One Morning
291
Holiday Memory
304
The Crumbs of One Mans Year
311
The Followers
329
A Story
337
Brember
347
Caspar Melchior Balthasar
355
Copyright

Adventures in the Skin Trade
239

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About the author (1986)

The most important Welsh poet of the twentieth century, Thomas was born in Swansea, about which he remembered unkindly "the smug darkness of a provincial town." He attended Swansea Grammar School but received his real education in the extensive library of his father, a disappointed schoolteacher with higher ambitions. Refusing university study in favor of immediately becoming a professional writer, Thomas worked first in Swansea and then in London at a variety of literary jobs, which included journalism and, eventually, filmscripts and radio plays. In 1936 he began the satisfying but stormy marriage to the bohemian writer and dancer Caitlin MacNamara that would endure for the rest of his career. His life fell into a pattern of oscillation between work and dissipation in London and recovery and relaxation in a rural retreat, usually in Wales. Thomas worked in a documentary film unit during the war. Besides his poetry, he wrote plays and fiction. In the early 1950s, he gave three celebrated poetry-reading tours of the United States, during which his outrageous behavior vied with his superb reading ability for public attention. Aggravated by chronic alcoholism, his health collapsed during the last tour, and he died in a New York City hospital. In his poetry, Thomas embraced an exuberant romanticism in the encounter between self and world and a joyous riot in the lushness of language. His work falls into three periods---an early "womb-tomb" phase during which he produced a notebook, which he later mined for further poems, a middle one troubled by marriage and war, and a final acceptance of the human condition. The exuberant rhetoric of his work belies an equally strong devotion to artistry, what he once called "my craft or sullen art." His great "Fern Hill," for example, builds its imagery of the rejoicing innocence of childhood on a strict and demanding syllabic count. A recollection of boyhood holidays on the farm of his aunt and uncle, that poem places its emotion within an Edenic framework typical of Thomas's work. The impressive sonnet sequence "Altarwise by Owl-Light" (1936) combines the internal quest of romanticism with a more elaborate religious outlook in tracing the birth and spiritual autobiography of a poet. Almost at the end of his career he produced the moving elegy "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" (1952), written during the final illness of his father. Despite his periods of doubt and dissipation, Thomas celebrated the fullness of life. As he wrote in a note to his Collected Poems (1952), "These poems, with all their crudities, doubts, and confusion, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn fool if they weren't.

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