JAMES GIBBONS HUNEKER by Arnold T. Schwab

JAMES GIBBONS HUNEKER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A jumbo-sized biography of America's critical dandy, James Gibbons. Huneker, who singlehandedly, through newspaper reviews and books, spearheaded N.Y.'s cultural coming-of-age from the Gay '90's to WWI. It's all zealously researched, crisply colorful. Huneker pioneered in psychosexual aspects of Whitman, Tschaikovsky, Wagner; when nobody would touch them he ""boomed"" Shaw, Ibsen, Matisse, Cezanne, Debussy; he knew onrad, Wilde, Mencken, Mary Garden. He was the terror of the ""genteel tradition"", denouncing artistic and social middlings everywhere. Throughout the author makes much of Huneker as a Rabelaisian raconteur, as a Nietzschean romanticist, as a non-stop charmer of men and women, but nowhere does he truly attempt an in-depth portrait. In short, there's much glitter, very little gold.

Publisher: Stanford Univ. Press