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Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Edmund Wilson From the Jazz Age through the Kennedy administration, Edmund Wilson stood at the center of American cultural scene. This book encompasses his love affair with Edna St Vincent Millay, his marriage to Mary McCarthy, and his accord with Elena Mumm Thornton, as well as his friendship with Vladimir Nabokov and ties with WH Auden and Isaiah Berlin. Full description
Paperback, 672 pages
Published October 24th 2007 by The Johns Hopkins University Press (first published 2005)
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James Murphy
This is a positive biography by the man who edited the last volume of Wilson's journals, The Sixties. It's in contrast to other views of Wilson which emphasize his sometimes difficult nature. Dabney hardly sees him in the poor light provided by the Frances Kiernan biography of Mary McCarthy or David Laskin's book about the Partisan Review, in which their relationship is detailed.
Bookmarks Magazine

A divisive character deserves a split decision, and Edmund Wilson and his "authorized" biographer Lewis Dabney suffer from mixed reviews. Some critics welcome the new treatment as a balanced, sober look at a life that was anything but. Comparisons of the biographer's literary style with that of his subject are unfair, but the criticism of Dabney's tendency to linger on the sordid details while parsing out dry readings of Wilson's work hangs over the negative reviews. These questions seem less po

This fine biography show us the life and times of a critic some thought
to be the greatest of the 20th. century.
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