By Edmund Wilson
Edmund Wilson was once a superb specimen of that now approximately extinct species: the all-around guy of letters. in the course of his lengthy lifestyles (he outlived his pal and Princeton classmate, F. Scott Fitzgerald, by means of greater than thirty years), he attempted his hand at a wide selection of literary genres: from poetry and drama to fiction, journalism, historical past and polemics, in addition to a voluminous (and decidedly indiscreet) magazine. basically, occasionally solely, referred to as a literary critic (a proven fact that by no means did not annoy him), he additionally discovered time to jot down a standard of greater than two-and-a-half letters in step with day for each day of his lifestyles — an incredible 70,000 in all. one of the different outstanding posthumous courses of Wilson’s writings, within the opinion of David Castronovo, used to be Letters on Literature and Politics 1912-1972. In an essay for the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Castronovo wrote that “this assortment indicates the diversity of Wilson’s casual pursuits in addition to a partial list of his different and infrequently disturbing lifestyles. the various letters additionally display him within the position of good friend and encourager—a guider and nurturer of expertise and incessant battler with conditions, either own and social, that hold writers from working.”
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Additional info for Letters on Literature and Politics: 1912-1972
Privileged education margin of economic independence at a when some time friends were reduced to doing hack work. In some of his gifted respects, the twenties offered a favorable climate for the beginning writer, since a large number of publishers were competing for promising talent and the neophyte could survive on a small advance. " His own dream of what then and thereafter constituted for New him York were turning the desirable literary Put literature into a cloak life in the simplest terms, this write books.
He was incensed when the critics began to speak of him as mellowing. Meanwhile, no matter how ill or distracted he felt, his thoughts strayed to his childhood, before "the big he put in his daily quota of hours at his desk in Wellfleet or Talcottville. Edmund Wilson, believed. He gave to sibility a serious professional writer, encompassed by that word: he "professed" According to his practiced what he the profession of letters the dedication and respon- literary creed, the literature. " This resolution may partly explain why he never became a cult figure the self-indulgent anarchist.
Paramore, Jr. Hill School Lit. Princeton Princeton Princeton Lit 2 George Perkins Noel Robinson Princeton Princeton Gilbert Seldes Harvard Gilbert Troxell Yale Yale Charles Rumford Walker T. K. Whipple Lit. Lit. Princeton, Nassau To Alfred The Bellinger Lit. October 24, 191 Hill School Princeton Dear Alfred: Thank you exceedingly for the bound Record, with my name on the outside. I have been reading it over with considerable interest. Much of my last year's work seems already crude and silly, and I long to write better verse, and better prose, which I can do, for I have many ideas, if I would only cease idling my time doing trigonometry and going to the movies, and writing endless epistles to you The other day I was talking with Stan Dell about The Record, and its glorious past and uncertain future, and all the bright stars which once had shone in its pages.