In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories (Paperback)

Delmore Schwartz

Eight short stories by American poet and short story writer Delmore Schwartz, proclaimed a masterpiece by Vladimir Nabokov and William Barrett, and a seminal work of twentieth century fiction.

Delmore Schwartz became the voice of a new generation, when In Dreams Begin Responsibilities was published in the debut issue of 'Partisan Review' in 1937.

The title story tells of an unnamed young man who has a dream that he is in an old-fashioned movie theatre in 1909. As he sits down to watch the film, he starts to realize that it is a motion picture documenting his parents' courtship. At turns he becomes engrossed, upset and outraged, in a story that set the stage for the arrival of an acclaimed literary voice.

Publication date: 30/04/2003


ISBN: 9780285636699

Imprint: Souvenir Press

Subject: Fiction

Reviews for In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories

'A poignant portrait of... two generations, and the clashes, gulfs and 'unbreakable unity' between them... his best stories view his characters with such sharpness that the wider significances never seem forced.'


'Many of the stories in this fine collection have a strange clairvoyance; they are dark with the threat of imminent catastrophe.'


'Schwartz had been a pioneer, a golden boy, an exemplar to those who followed him... As for the stories in this reprinted collection, the more expressionist their mode is, the more widely they stray from the canons of naturalism, so the more compelling and affecting they become.'

 New Statesman

Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz (1913 – 1966) was an American poet and short story writer. He was an influence on Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, immortalised in songs by Lou Reed and John Berryman. He died destitute in a New York hotel in 1966.