Many of Wilson's writings have been anthologized. But there is another body of work -- over fifty fine essays on aspects of contemporary literature and ideas -- that have been scattered in a variety of magazines, including The New Yorker, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The Nation. The editors, who recognize Wilson (1895-1972) as one of America's greatest men of letters of the twentieth century, also view his writing as a powerful antidote to late twentieth-century trends and fads and have collected his pieces here in the conviction that Wilson's writing is a permanently important model. Now a new generation of readers -- as well as his loyal followers -- will have access to this rich literary heritage in a single volume. The collection is organized chronologically and leads the reader through the journeyman writing at Hill School and Princeton, the essays on literary modernism and contemporary culture written in the 1920s, the socially-focused critiques of the 1930s, and the diverse assortment of book reviews of the late period. Across this full range of moods and literary styles. Wilson is a powerful spokesman for writers and a guardian of imagination and decency for the informed citizen.
From the Jazz Age through the McCarthy era, Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) stood at the center of the American cultural scene. In his own youth a crucial champion of the young Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wilson went on to write three classics of literary and intellectual history (Axel's Castle, To the Finland Station, and Patriotic Gore), searching reportage, and criticism that has outlasted many of its subjects. Wilson documented his unruly private life--a formative love affair with Edna St. Vincent Millay, a tempestuous marriage to Mary McCarthy, and volatile friendships with Fitzgerald and Vladimir Nabokov, among others--in openly erotic fiction and journals, but Lewis Dabney is the first writer to integrate the life and work. Dabney traces the critic's intellectual development, from son of small-town New Jersey gentry to America's last great renaissance man, a deep commentator on everything from the Russian classics to Native American rituals to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Along the way, Dabney shows why Wilson was and has remained--in his cosmopolitanism and trenchant nonconformity--a model for young writers and intellectuals, as well as the favorite critic of the general reader. Edmund Wilson will be recognized as the lasting biography of this brilliant man whose life reflected so much of the cultural, social, and human experience of a turbulent century.
The American Earthquake amply conveys the astonishing breadth of Edmund Wilson's talent, provides an unparalleled vision of one of the most troubling periods in American history, and, perhaps inadvertently, offers a self-portrait comparable to The Education of Henry Adams. During a twelve-month period in 1930 and 1931, Edmund Wilson wrote a series of lengthy articles which he then collected in a book called American Jitters: A Year of the Slump. The resulting chronicle was hailed by the New York Times as "the best reporting that the period of depression has brought forth in the United States," and forms the heart of the present volume. In prose that is by turns dramatic and naturalistic, inflammatory and evocative, satirical and droll, Wilson painted an unforgettable portrait of a time when "the whole structure of American society seemed actually to be going to pieces." The American Earthquake bookends this chronicle with a collection of Wilson's non-literary articles-including criticism, reportage, and some fiction-from the years of "The Follies," 1923-1928, and the dawn of the New Deal, 1932-1934. During this period, Wilson had grown from a little-known journalist to one of the most important American literary and social critics of the century.
Landscapes, Characters, and Conversations from the Earlier Years of My Life
Author: Edmund Wilson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The leading literary critic Edmund Wilson shares his travels and adventures from his young life in this intellectual autobiography, A Prelude. From his early childhood in Red Bank, New Jersey, to his undergraduate years in Princeton, to his later time spent in the army, this personal study, told partly in diary form, provides an illuminating look inside the mind of one of the twentieth century's towering man of letters. Also included in this volume is two short stories by Wilson, both based on actual events: "The Death of a Soldier," about the death of a young soldier from pneumonia just before going to the front. And "Lieutenant Franklin" concerning a young officer in the Army of Occupation in Germany after the war.
Letters on Literature and Politics, 1912-1972 contains a selection of the literary critic and author Edmund Wilson's personal correspondence. As editor Leon Edel states in his introduction to these papers: "More than a sampling, the present volume provides sufficient material to show the energy and vitality of Wilson's professional relations with friends and acquaintances; it shows even more the continuity of his imaginative life from his youth to the end."
Reprint of Wilson's 1971 collection originally published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Contains a new foreword by Richard Costa (English, Texas AandM). Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Edmund Wilson's The Fifties, edited by Leon Edel, is the highly acclaimed fourth volume in the series that began with The Twenties. It is complimented with photographs and journal excerpts of some of the most interesting characters of the decade, including Edna St. Vincent Millay, W.H. Auden, and Vladimir Nabokov. "A giant's workroom we can wander through, marveling ..." - Richard Locke, The Wall Street Journal on The Fifties: From Notebooks and Diaries of the Period
A second volume of a two-part collection of essays and reviews by the esteemed literary critic features pieces from the 1930s and 1940s, including The Triple Thinkers, The Wound and the Bow, and Classics and Commercials. 10,000 first printing.
This comprehensive biography of prolific critic, essayist, historian, and novelist Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) posits, quite successfully, that the subject lived a life as romantic and chaotic as his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald's. Wilson suffered a nervous breakdown and the tragic death of his second wife (he was married four times, among them, Mary McCarthy); had affairs with numerous beautiful women, including Edna St. Vincent Millay; and was friend to literary giants such as John Dos Passos, Vladimir Nabakov, and W.H. Auden.
The last of Edmund Wilson's posthumously published journals turned out to be one of his major books, The Sixties: the Last Journal, 1960–1972--a personal history that is also brilliant social comedy and an anatomy of the times. Wilson catches the flavor of an international elite -- Stravinsky, Auden, Andre Malraux, and Isaiah Berlin -- as well as the New York literati and the Kennedy White House, but he never strays too far from the common life, whether noting the routines of his normal neighbors or the struggle of his own aging. "Candor and intelligence come through on every page--in this always absorbing journal by perhaps the last great man of American letters." - Kirkus Reviews
Publisher: Ohio University Center for International Studies
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"Arranged by correspondent and moving through the phases of his career, Edmund Wilson, the Man in Letters constitutes an exemplary autobiography cum cultural history. The writing itself is vintage Wilson - a blending of classical and conversational styles that stands as part of the modern American canon and is filled with the emotions and tastes of a master."--BOOK JACKET.
Featuring critical and biographical portraits of notable figures of the American Civil War, Patriotic Gore remains one of Edmund Wilson's greatest achievements. Considered one of the 100 Best Nonfiction books by The Modern Library. Figures discussed include Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, among many others.
The Triple Thinkers: Twelve Essays on Literary Subjects contains some of Edmund Wilson's most significant and brilliant writings on topics and authors ranging from Pushkin, A. E. Housman, Flaubert, Henry James, Marxism, poetry and more.