Other literary forms
Although Delmore Schwartz thought of himself primarily as a poet, he wrote short stories, plays, and literary and film criticism as well. His masterful 1937 story, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” prefigures the major concerns of his later work and provides the title for his first collection of poetry in the following year. The World Is a Wedding (1948) contains this and most of the remainder of Schwartz’s best stories. The later stories collected in Successful Love, and Other Stories (1961) are generally less noteworthy. Schwartz’s retooling of William Shakespeare in Coriolanus and His Mother, which occupies a large part of In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, and the autobiographical Shenandoah (pb. 1941) are interesting, if not particularly stageworthy, contributions to verse drama. A good sampling of his essays on modern literature and its critics—T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Edmund Wilson, Lionel Trilling—as well as occasional pieces on films such as The Seven Year Itch and The Blackboard Jungle reveals the characteristic interplay of his mind between high and popular culture, and may be found in the posthumous Selected Essays of Delmore Schwartz (1970). Schwartz’s papers, recovered and presented to Yale University by his literary executor, Dwight Macdonald, mainly record the abandoned projects that littered Schwartz’s career.