Christopher Benfey, editor --> reviewed by Alexander Nazaryan -->

Lafcadio Hearn, whose American writings are the subject of a new Library of America volume, is joining some rarified company. His closest neighbor in the collection will be Nathaniel Hawthorne, while nearby is Henry James—with fifteen tomes to his name—a contemporary whose refined sensibilities displeased Hearn. Looming from the end of the shelf is Walt Whitman, of whom Hearn once remarked, “I have not the patience for him.” The Library of America may be a compendium of our greatest writers, but isn’t clear that Hearn would have wanted a seat at this table.

Only a few scholars have written on Hearn—they would fit comfortably into a Toyota Corolla—and opinion is divided about his place...


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