Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015588, Tue, 16 Oct 2007 08:25:45 -0400

writer he introduced to American audiences, Vladimir Nabokov ...

The Washington Times

In critical condition
Kelly Jane TorranceOctober 12, 2007

Harold Bloom is a respected critic though it seems younger novelists are not on his radar.

Jay Nordlinger, a music critic and managing editor of National Review, once named Eduard Hanslick and Julius Korngold the most important and famous music critics in history: "Most people have never heard of them — but they have heard of the composers whom they were most closely associated with: Brahms and Mahler. That's the point."

Edmund Wilson certainly isn't as famous as the writer he introduced to American audiences, Vladimir Nabokov. But the name of the greatest literary critic of his generation — and perhaps in all of 20th-century American letters — is well known to anyone with more than a passing interest in the history of literature.

His status is confirmed with the publication this month of two volumes of Mr. Wilson's criticism in the Library of America: "Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s & 30s" and "Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1930s & 40s." Mr. Wilson now joins some of the authors he championed, such as Mr. Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edna St. Vincent Millay, in the closest thing we have to an authoritative American canon.

[ ... ]

Mr. Nabokov (who later fell out with the critic over the latter's treatment of his masterpiece, "Lolita") wasn't the only beneficiary of his early support: Mr. Wilson was the first American reviewer of Ernest Hemingway. He even inspired artists; W.H. Auden once said he wrote for Mr. Wilson alone.

[ ... ]

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