Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Edmund Wilson: Lovecraft Despiser

From a New York Times article:

A Shaper of the Canon Gets His Place in It
Published: October 7, 2007

THE latest inclusion in the Library of America, that clothbound hall of literary fame, is two big volumes of Edmund Wilson’s critical writings. It’s about time, considering that the Library of America was Wilson’s idea in the first place. He modeled it after the French PlĂ©iade series, insisting back in the 1960s that the texts be readable and accessible, without a forest of footnotes, and it was he who chose the volumes’ pleasingly compact format. Wilson also thought that the library ought to be highly selective, and he would not be amused to learn that he got in only after the likes of Philip K. Dick and H. P. Lovecraft, about whose work he once wrote, “The only real horror in most of these fictions is the horror of bad taste and bad art.”


MorganScorpion said...

Nice to think that in years to come, Wilson will only be remembered because he once wrote something unpleasant about H P Lovecraft.

Anonymous said...

Remembered for myopic assessments of authors, like H. P. Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald. How fitting that they all were published in the Library of America canon before he was.


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