Cowley, Malcolm

Cowley, Malcolm

(kou`lē), 1898–1989, American critic and poet, b. Belsano, Pa., grad. Harvard, 1920. He lived abroad in the 1920s and knew many writers of the "lost generation," about whom he wrote in Exile's Return (1934) and Second Flowering (1973). For much of the 1930s he was the literary editor of the New Republic and wrote a book-review column for that influential periodical. He later championed the works of such writers as Jack KerouacKerouac, Jack
(John Kerouac) , 1922–69, American novelist, b. Lowell, Mass., studied at Columbia. One of the leaders of the beat generation, a term he is said to have coined, he was the author of the largely autobiographical novel On the Road
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, John CheeverCheever, John,
1912–82, American author, b. Quincy, Mass. His expulsion from Thayer Academy was the subject of his first short story, published by the New Republic when he was 17. Many of his subsequent works are also semiautobiographical.
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, Ken KeseyKesey, Ken Elton,
1935–2001, American novelist and counterculture figure, b. La Junta, Colo.; grad. Univ. of Oregon (1957), Stanford Univ. (1960). While a student he volunteered for a hospital study of mind-altering drugs, substances that were to shape much of his life and
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, Joyce Carol OatesOates, Joyce Carol,
1938–, American author, b. Lockport, N.Y., grad. B.A., Syracuse Univ., 1960, M.A., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1961. She taught English at the Univ. of Detroit and the Univ. of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and has been affiliated with Princeton since 1978.
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, and Thomas PynchonPynchon, Thomas
, 1937–, American novelist, b. Glen Cove, N.Y., grad. Cornell, 1958. Pynchon is noted for his amazingly fertile imagination, his wild sense of humor, and the teeming complexity of his novels.
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. His own works include The Blue Juniata (1927) and A Dry Season (1942), poems; The Literary Situation (1954), a critical analysis; and Many Windowed Houses: Collected Essays on Writers and Writing (1970).

Bibliography

See his selected letters ed. by H. Bak (2013).

Cowley, Malcolm

(1898–1989) literary critic, editor; born in Belasco, Pa. He interrupted his studies at Harvard to serve with the American Ambulance Corps in World War I. Returning to France for graduate studies (1921–23), he got to know some of the American writers he would write of in his first widely recognized book, Exile's Return (1934). Meanwhile, he worked as a free-lance writer, contributing book reviews and critical essays, translating French works, and composing his own poetry. As associate editor of the New Republic (1929–44) he promoted contemporary American writers. As literary advisor to Viking Press (1948–85) he edited popularly available editions of selected works of writers from Hawthorne and Whitman to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway; it is generally recognized that his Viking Portable edition of William Faulkner (1946) was responsible for launching Faulkner's serious reputation. Cowley encouraged later generations of writers such as John Cheever, Jack Kerouac, and Ken Kesey and continued writing and lecturing to promote American literature until his final years.