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Erudite short-fiction

From *Ghost Stories of an Antiquary*, by M. R. James

Consider it a professional bias, but some of the short fiction that I love the most was written either written as a diversion from scholarship, or look at scholarship as a fruitful resource for the imagination. In some cases, the short stories and novelas expand on erudite minutiae; in others, the quiet of scholarly life is regarded as the perfect background for fantasy or the uncanny. Yet in others, labyrinthian worlds and patterns emerge as a diversion from erudition. Here’s a short annotated list of works, in several languages, that I’ve enjoyed. In my humble opinion, the great master of the genre was Marcel Schwob, of “Le livre de Monelle” fame.1

  1. Shocking as it is, there’s still not a Bibliotheque de la Pleiade edition of the great symbolist writer nor, for that matter, any decent modern edition of his collected works.