Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s

By Malcolm Cowley; Donald W. Faulkner | Go to book overview

A Note on the Text

As noted in the Introduction, there were two editions of Exile's Return. The first appeared in June 1934 and was published by W. W. Norton and Company. The second, revised edition appeared in June 1951 and was published by Viking Press. (The U.K. publication of the 1951 revised edition, by Bodley Head, did not appear until 1961.)

The 1934 edition of Exile's Return was subtitled "A Narrative of Ideas." In 1951, the book's subtitle was "A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s." The 1934 edition bore no dedication, while the 1951 edition was dedicated to Muriel, Cowley's second wife, whom he married in 1932.

The 1934 edition contained seven chapters; the 1951 edition contained eight. The difference between the two editions is largely a matter of the organization of material.

The seventh and last chapter of the 1934 edition, entitled "No Escape." was broken into four subsections: "Connecticut Valley." "Political Interlude," "The Story of a Suicide," and "To Die at the Right Time." The seventh chapter of the 1951 edition, entitled "The Age of Islands," includes new material on Sacco and Vanzetti ("Charlestown Prison") and Hart Crane ("The Roaring Boy"), and some transitional material that did not appear in the 1934 edition. Five and a half pages at the beginning and three pages at the end of the 1934 chapter seven subsection "Political Interlude" were omitted in the 1951 edition; the rest of the subsection was absorbed into the

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