The Sixties by Edmund Wilson
The Last Journal, 1960-1972

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Synopsis

The final volume of journals by Edmund Wilson includes details of Wilson in Boston, Cambridge, Western Europe, Hungary, Jordan, and Israel; Wilson on Stravinsky, Auden, Andre+a7 Malraux, and Isaiah Berlin; and even Wilson in the White House.
 

About Edmund Wilson

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Wilson roamed the world and read widely in many languages. He was a journalist for leading literary periodicals: Vanity Fair, where he was briefly managing editor; The New Republic, where he was associate editor for five years; and the New Yorker, where he was book reviewer in the 1940s. These varied experiences were typical of Wilson's range of interests and ability. Eternally productive and endlessly readable, he conquered American literature in countless essays. If he is idiosyncratic and lacks a rigid mold, that probably contributes to his success as a literary critic, since he was not committed to interpretation in the straitjacket of some popular approach or dogma. His critical position suits his cosmopolitan background---historical and sociological considerations prevail. He went through a brief Marxist period and experimented with Freudian criticism. Axel's Castle (1931), a penetrating analysis of the symbolist writer, has exerted a great influence on contemporary literary criticism. Its dedication, to Christian Gauss of Princeton, reads:"It was principally from you that I acquired.. .my idea of what literary criticism ought to be---a history of man's ideas and imaginings in the setting of the conditions which have shaped them."His volume of satiric short stories, Memoirs of Hecate County (1946), with its frankly erotic passages, was the subject of court cases in a less tolerant decade than the present one. It was Wilson's own favorite among his writings, but he complained that those individuals who like his other work tend to disregard it.
 
Published July 1, 1993 by Farrar Straus & Giroux (T). 1019 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The last of Wilson's five volumes of journals is as entertaining and full of gossipy detail as the first four (The Fifties, 1986, etc.)--and together they form an amazing literary document of the first half of the century.

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The Guardian

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The short 60s - from the release of "Love Me Do" to the student sit-ins and the Paris événements of summer 1968 - was a wonderful time to be young.

Jul 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Sixties: The Last Journal...

Entertainment Weekly

The last volume of journals kept by our great critic and man of letters, The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1960-1972, has the same virtues as the four previous decade-long slices: a vast array of interests pursued with bulldog tenacity, blunt assessments of books and of people (ranging from Jackie K...

Jul 23 1993 | Read Full Review of The Sixties: The Last Journal...

The Paris Review

People will stop calling San Francisco “Frisco” (but how cute is it when they do?) and will stop acting like anonymous sex is the answer to all your problems (tell Don he should know more than anyone that a one-night stand won’t solve anything), and even Star Trek will eventually run its course.

May 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Sixties: The Last Journal...

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