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By Vincent Fitzpatrick | August 29, 1993
THE SIXTIES: THE LAST JOURNAL, 1960-1972Edmund Wilson; edited by Lewis M. DabneyFarrar, Straus & Giroux968 pages. $35 "It sometimes seems to me strange," Edmund Wilson reflected in 1969, at the age of 74, "that I am still alive and writing in this diary." His tumultuous and eclectic career had already stretched over more than 50 years and was distinguished by millions of words in a variety of books and periodicals. Always curious, he went everywhere, talked to everyone of consequence, read everything and remembered it all. According Leon Edel, the distinguished biographer of Henry James, Wilson was "America's outstanding man of letters."
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2012
Some of you have been generous enough to inform me, here or on Facebook or at Twitter, that you do not share my esteem for the writings of Gore Vidal. You perhaps do not care for his politics or his prose style or his morality or his person. Perhaps his patrician hauteur irritates you; I'm sure that he would have wanted it that way. That's as it should be, rather than the bland, stagnant world we would live in if all our tastes agreed. That said, I'm about to quote him, so clear out. Everyone else can stay.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Allen Barra and Allen Barra,Special to the Sun | September 4, 2005
BIOGRAPHY EDMUND WILSON: A LIFE IN LITERATURE By Lewis M. Dabney. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 604 pages. To call Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) the greatest American critic or our most dynamic man of letters doesn't begin to hint at the scope of his achievement. Wilson's passions ranged from modernist literature to politics, the American Civil War, the ancient Middle East, northeastern American Indians, and just about anything else that piqued his intellect. He wrote good fiction (I Thought Of Daisy and Memoirs of Hecate County)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Allen Barra and Allen Barra,Special to the Sun | September 4, 2005
BIOGRAPHY EDMUND WILSON: A LIFE IN LITERATURE By Lewis M. Dabney. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 604 pages. To call Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) the greatest American critic or our most dynamic man of letters doesn't begin to hint at the scope of his achievement. Wilson's passions ranged from modernist literature to politics, the American Civil War, the ancient Middle East, northeastern American Indians, and just about anything else that piqued his intellect. He wrote good fiction (I Thought Of Daisy and Memoirs of Hecate County)
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and By John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | July 28, 2002
Edmund Wilson died 30 years ago this summer, but his shade lingers over those who write. Some weeks ago, after reviewing a book on Rudyard Kipling's political attitudes for these pages, I picked up Wilson's The Wound and the Bow to read his essay on Kipling. In "The Kipling That Nobody Read," written more than 60 years ago, Wilson hit the big points: the miserable childhood, the ear for vernacular, the technical mastery, the hatred, the subordination of literary gifts to hidebound political views.
FEATURES
By Robert Taylor and Robert Taylor,Boston Globe | July 5, 1994
"In 1938," Daniel Aaron recalls, "at the end of the final examination of English 7 (I was a teaching assistant at Harvard College), John F. Kennedy rather loftily, I thought, slapped his blue book on my desk and passed into the future." Kennedy received a grade of B, respectable enough for the course. The operative phrase of that everyday encounter, however, ("rather loftily, I thought") personalizes the teller of the story as distinctively as it does Kennedy's attitude toward the incident itself.
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | May 7, 1995
Bad news starts small. The first sign of cancer is sometimes a cough; the first sign of an impending cultural earthquake is sometimes a tiny crack in the sidewalk. I saw just such a crack the other day at my neighborhood bookstore: The Barnes & Noble executive in charge of which books go where has shut down the "Literary Criticism" section. All books about literature are now lumped under "Literary Theory."For those not in the know, literary theory is the latest monstrosity cooked up in the laboratories of America's colleges and universities, a spectacular perversion of taste and truth in which free speech is oppressive, all art is about power and privilege, all books are "texts" and all texts are equal (though some are more equal than others, most notably the jargon-clogged books of literary theorists)
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2012
Some of you have been generous enough to inform me, here or on Facebook or at Twitter, that you do not share my esteem for the writings of Gore Vidal. You perhaps do not care for his politics or his prose style or his morality or his person. Perhaps his patrician hauteur irritates you; I'm sure that he would have wanted it that way. That's as it should be, rather than the bland, stagnant world we would live in if all our tastes agreed. That said, I'm about to quote him, so clear out. Everyone else can stay.
NEWS
By VICTORIA BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 30, 1997
"The Paper Trail," by Dorothea Straus. Moyer Bell. 240 pages. $22.95.As the millennium approaches the memoir has become the trendiest of literary forms. Everyone and their dog is writing a memoir, from Generation X-er memoirs to tortured youth to octogenarian memoirs of equally tortured longevity. Into that heralding trumpet blast comes Dorothea Straus' lilting collection, The Paper Trail."Closer to octogenarians than to Gen-Xers, Straus has led the sort of intriguing life attendant to immense privilege; reading these reminiscences captivates.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Katherine A. Powers and Katherine A. Powers,Special to the Sun | February 20, 2000
The Romantics" by Pankaj Mishra (Random House, 272 pages, $23.95) is a deep, beautiful novel set chiefly in India's holy city of Benares in 1989 and 1990. It is the Brahmin narrator's story of his first months away from family and school, and of that period's transforming effect on his life. Nineteen years old, intense, observant and filled with uncertainty, the young man has embarked on a personal course of reading guided by the works of Edmund Wilson. In the midst of this unlikely literary endeavor he becomes involved with an equally unlikely -- if less salubriously so -- group of misfits, both Western and Indian.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and By John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff | July 28, 2002
Edmund Wilson died 30 years ago this summer, but his shade lingers over those who write. Some weeks ago, after reviewing a book on Rudyard Kipling's political attitudes for these pages, I picked up Wilson's The Wound and the Bow to read his essay on Kipling. In "The Kipling That Nobody Read," written more than 60 years ago, Wilson hit the big points: the miserable childhood, the ear for vernacular, the technical mastery, the hatred, the subordination of literary gifts to hidebound political views.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | September 17, 2000
John Updike started writing as an undergraduate on the Harvard Lampoon. His early comic writing -- he drew cartoons, too -- gained him attention and satisfaction. He was hired by the New Yorker and published 16 short stories there between 1954 and 1959.They came out as a volume called "The Same Door" in 1959, a year after "The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures," a collection of poems that was his first book. Updike's first great smash was "Rabbit, Run," which he wrote in 1959 in considerably less than a year, with no intention that it was going to have sequels.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Katherine A. Powers and Katherine A. Powers,Special to the Sun | February 20, 2000
The Romantics" by Pankaj Mishra (Random House, 272 pages, $23.95) is a deep, beautiful novel set chiefly in India's holy city of Benares in 1989 and 1990. It is the Brahmin narrator's story of his first months away from family and school, and of that period's transforming effect on his life. Nineteen years old, intense, observant and filled with uncertainty, the young man has embarked on a personal course of reading guided by the works of Edmund Wilson. In the midst of this unlikely literary endeavor he becomes involved with an equally unlikely -- if less salubriously so -- group of misfits, both Western and Indian.
NEWS
By VICTORIA BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 30, 1997
"The Paper Trail," by Dorothea Straus. Moyer Bell. 240 pages. $22.95.As the millennium approaches the memoir has become the trendiest of literary forms. Everyone and their dog is writing a memoir, from Generation X-er memoirs to tortured youth to octogenarian memoirs of equally tortured longevity. Into that heralding trumpet blast comes Dorothea Straus' lilting collection, The Paper Trail."Closer to octogenarians than to Gen-Xers, Straus has led the sort of intriguing life attendant to immense privilege; reading these reminiscences captivates.
NEWS
By JOHN E. McINTYRE | June 6, 1995
Expecting an important call, I dashed for the telephone, shaving lather still on my face, to learn that I had been accorded the signal honor of receiving a new credit card that would make it a matter of ease and efficiency to spend the rest of my days in debt.''Thank you, no,'' I told the solicitor, who went on, as his script doubtless indicated, to ask me a series of impertinent questions about how I manage my money. Only the administration of further sharp doses of discouragement loosened his hold on my time and attention.
NEWS
By Terry Teachout and Terry Teachout,Special to The Sun | May 7, 1995
Bad news starts small. The first sign of cancer is sometimes a cough; the first sign of an impending cultural earthquake is sometimes a tiny crack in the sidewalk. I saw just such a crack the other day at my neighborhood bookstore: The Barnes & Noble executive in charge of which books go where has shut down the "Literary Criticism" section. All books about literature are now lumped under "Literary Theory."For those not in the know, literary theory is the latest monstrosity cooked up in the laboratories of America's colleges and universities, a spectacular perversion of taste and truth in which free speech is oppressive, all art is about power and privilege, all books are "texts" and all texts are equal (though some are more equal than others, most notably the jargon-clogged books of literary theorists)
NEWS
By JOHN E. McINTYRE | June 6, 1995
Expecting an important call, I dashed for the telephone, shaving lather still on my face, to learn that I had been accorded the signal honor of receiving a new credit card that would make it a matter of ease and efficiency to spend the rest of my days in debt.''Thank you, no,'' I told the solicitor, who went on, as his script doubtless indicated, to ask me a series of impertinent questions about how I manage my money. Only the administration of further sharp doses of discouragement loosened his hold on my time and attention.
NEWS
By Russell Baker | June 25, 1991
AFTER Bing Crosby died his son Gary published a book saying his dad had been a truly terrible father. This prompted Bob Hope to observe, "It's not even safe to die anymore."Zachary Taylor, former president of the United States, dead since 1850, might have said, "Bob never spoke a truer line," had he been capable of issuing a press release when the knock came at his mausoleum door the other day.He was about to be hauled out for further study. Someone writing a book suspected he may have been poisoned, so an obliging coroner had agreed to subject him to the indignities modern science is uniquely qualified to inflict.
FEATURES
By Robert Taylor and Robert Taylor,Boston Globe | July 5, 1994
"In 1938," Daniel Aaron recalls, "at the end of the final examination of English 7 (I was a teaching assistant at Harvard College), John F. Kennedy rather loftily, I thought, slapped his blue book on my desk and passed into the future." Kennedy received a grade of B, respectable enough for the course. The operative phrase of that everyday encounter, however, ("rather loftily, I thought") personalizes the teller of the story as distinctively as it does Kennedy's attitude toward the incident itself.
NEWS
By Vincent Fitzpatrick | August 29, 1993
THE SIXTIES: THE LAST JOURNAL, 1960-1972Edmund Wilson; edited by Lewis M. DabneyFarrar, Straus & Giroux968 pages. $35 "It sometimes seems to me strange," Edmund Wilson reflected in 1969, at the age of 74, "that I am still alive and writing in this diary." His tumultuous and eclectic career had already stretched over more than 50 years and was distinguished by millions of words in a variety of books and periodicals. Always curious, he went everywhere, talked to everyone of consequence, read everything and remembered it all. According Leon Edel, the distinguished biographer of Henry James, Wilson was "America's outstanding man of letters."
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