Presence: Collected Stories by Arthur Miller

From The Telegraph:

Book Arthur Miller’s foreword to his first collection of short stories from 1967 won’t delight the more bullish champions of the form – and not just because, as reprinted here, it keeps misspelling “Hemingway”. The idea, he writes, that short stories are “more or less casual things at the lower end of the scale of magnitude” is one he is quite happy to accept. In fact, this is precisely why he enjoys writing them. For a playwright, they’re a chance to escape “the terrible heat at the centre of the stage” for something less grand and more self-effacing.

The rest of the book triumphantly lives up to these modest claims. The 18 stories – which include the two collections published during his life, and a third, Presence, published posthumously (here making its first British appearance) – lack the crunching power of Miller’s best drama. The compensation, though, is a rich, even touching sense of intimacy. With a few exceptions, these stories are not just good, but good in a way that may well come as a revelation to Miller fans. “I feel I know Chekhov better from his stories than from his plays,” he says in that same foreword – and after reading Presence you have exactly the same feeling about him.

More here.