THE DEVILS & CANON BARHAM by Edmund Wilson

THE DEVILS & CANON BARHAM

Ten Essays On Poets, Novelists & Monsters
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Edmund Wilson's last collection of essays and reviews, gathered from The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, we see that in his declining years he turned more and more to the past, styling himself as a "man of the Twenties," producing nostalgic evocations of childhood loves (his "fetishistic feeling" for Richard Harris Barham's The Ingoldsby Legends), commemorating enthusiasms of his intellectual youth (Mencken and Hemingway and The Waste Land), rescuing unfashonable authors from oblivion (Maurice Baring's books project "the varied conversation, at times almost opalescent, of a very pleasant companion, whom it is always refreshing to listen to, even if one may not always remember exactly what it was he said"), delineating the virtues of turn-of-the-century America through a suitably leisurely study of two neglected social novelists (Henry Fuller and Harold Frederic), and, finally, like the unrepentant anti,academic scholar that he is, castigating with acidulous glee, the phoney-baloney publishing practices of the Modern Language Association. Not what anyone would call a slambang farewell performance, certainly, but Edmund Wilson need hardly worry. His reputation as the most formidable man of letters of his generation has long been assured.
Pub Date: June 11th, 1973
ISBN: 0374526699
Page count: 238pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1973




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