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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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A Week in Literary History

May 8th, 2002

American’s greatest literary critic, Edmund Wilson (Axel’s Castle, 1931), is born in Red Bank, N.J., 1895.

Edmund Wilson, b. May 8, 1895, d. 1972

wilsonedmund.jpgThe greatest of all literary critics, Wilson taught himself foreign languages well into middle age in order to read their literatures, all the while keeping journals that covered all the important events — political, cultural, literary — of his times. As an original thinker, he created frameworks for understanding many writers in the context of their cultures; as a commentator on American literature, he seemed to have missed nothing. Independent of universities, he wrote in a clear, reasonable style completely free of academic jargon, footnote-itis, “schools” of criticism, and interminable waffling. Indispensable. Start with The Wound and the Bow and To the Finland Station, then move on.

Suggested Reading Criticism & Cultural Studies Axel’s Castle: A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930, 1931. Travels in Two Democracies, 1936. The Triple Thinkers: Ten Essays on Literature, 1938. To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History, 1940. The Boys in the Back Room: Notes on California Novelists, 1941. The Wound and the Bow: Seven Studies in Literature, 1941. The Shock of Recognition: The Development of Literature in the United States Recorded by the Men Who Made It, 1943. Europe Without Baedeker: Sketches Among the Ruins of Italy, Greece and England, 1947. Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties, 1950. The Shores of Light: A Literary Chronicle of the Twenties and Thirties, 1952. The Scrolls from the Dead Sea, 1955. Red, Black, Blond and Olive. Studies in Four Civilizations: Zuñi, Haiti, Soviet Russia, Israel, 1956. Apologies to the Iroquois, 1960. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War, 1962. The Cold War and the Income Tax: A Protest, 1963. O Canada: An American’s Notes on Canadian Culture, 1965. The Bit Between My Teeth: A Literary Chronicle of 1950-1965, 1965. The Fruits of the MLA, 1968. A Window on Russia for the Use of Foreign Readers, 1972. The Devils and Canon Barham: Ten Essays on Poets, Novelists and Monsters, 1973. Notebooks & Diaries The Thirties, 1980. The Forties, 1983. The Fifties, 1986. The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1993.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: A Week in Literary History, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

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