Edited by Jerusha Hull McCormack
Publication of Ian Fletcher’s The Poems of John Gray (1988) was welcomed by reviewers in the U.S. and England. Now ELT Press offers a companion volume, The Selected Prose of John Gray.
It complements the poetry by printing essays and short stories chosen from different periods of Gray's life – some selections previously unpublished, others having appeared only in limited periodical circulation.
This new book adds to our understanding of Gray and topics relevant to the era. Professor McCormack explains the importance of the prose in her introduction: ‘Gray has a significance for his time as a writer who has made the transition from the mannered decadence of “The Modem Actor" to the cryptic pre-modernist narrative of Park (1932). As such, his work helps us reconstruct our own past: in particular, it requires us to acknowledge that abyss which lies between the late Victorian and the years after the Great War. As one who survived, not only personally but as a writer, Gray allows us to speculate on the strategies by which he sought to bridge that chasm. And in so doing, John Gray's work may provide an example of how, on the edge of greater chasms, we may still presume to tell stories and to feel, in telling them, that they are permitted to tell us something about our experience – and ourselves.’
Professor McCormack traces the development of Gray’s life and writings in her introductory essay. She prefaces each selection with a useful headnote. Her extensive notes to the prose clarify topical allusions and make Gray’s work accessible to a wide audience.
Jerusha Hull McCormack, University College Dublin, is author of John Gray: Poet, Dandy, and Priest (University Press of New England, 1991).
Design: The book is typeset in Joanna, the stunning typeface Eric Gill designed especially for the Sheed & Ward 1932 edition of Park. Nineteen illustrations are reproduced from original printings of Gray’s writings. ELT Press’s David Schwartz has designed 14 beautifully hand-drawn initial letters for the prose. (For details on the illustrations and typography, see pages ix—x, page 316).