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Wilson, Edmund,1895–1972, American critic and author, b. Red Bank, N.J. grad. Princeton, 1916. He is considered one of the most important American literary and social critics of the 20th cent. From 1920 to 1921 he was managing editor of Vanity Fair, and he was later on the staffs of the New Republic (1926–31) and New Yorker (1944–48). In the 1930s he was much interested in the theories of FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.
His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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1818–83, German social philosopher, the chief theorist of modern socialism and communism. Early Life
Marx's father, a lawyer, converted from Judaism to Lutheranism in 1824.
..... Click the link for more information. , ideas that are treated in many of his works. Among his major writings are Axel's Castle (1931), a study of symbolism (see symbolistssymbolists,
in literature, a school originating in France toward the end of the 19th cent. in reaction to the naturalism and realism of the period. Designed to convey impressions by suggestion rather than by direct statement, symbolism found its first expression in poetry but
..... Click the link for more information. ) and other imaginative modernist literatures; The Wound and the Bow (1941); The Shores of Light (1952); and Patriotic Gore (1962), on the American Civil War.
As a critic Wilson was concerned with the social, psychological, and political conditions that shape literary ideas. His social studies include To the Finland Station (1940), a history of the European revolutionary tradition that praises the Soviet Union (a position he soon reversed), and The American Earthquake (1958), a record of the Great Depression. His versatility is further revealed in his I Thought of Daisy (1929), a novel; Memoirs of Hecate County (1949), short stories; and Five Plays (1954). Wilson also edited F. Scott FitzgeraldFitzgerald, F. Scott
(Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald), 1896–1940, American novelist and short-story writer, b. St. Paul, Minn. He is ranked among the great American writers of the 20th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. 's unfinished The Last Tycoon and posthumous The Crack-up (both: 1945). His later works include Israel and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1955), A Window on Russia (1973), and The Devils and Canon Barham: 10 Essays on Poets, Novelists, and Monsters (1973). Wilson's third wife was the author Mary McCarthyMcCarthy, Mary Therese,
1912–89, American writer, b. Seattle, grad. Vassar, 1933. As drama critic for the Partisan Review (1937–45), she gained a reputation for wit, intellect, and acerbity.
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See The Edmund Wilson Reader (1997, ed. by L. M. Dabney) and essays and reviews of the 1930s and 40s, ed. by L. M. Dabney (2007); his letters, ed. by E. Wilson (1977), letters with Vladimir Nabokov, ed. by S. Karlinsky (1979), and other letters, ed. by D. Castronova and J. Groth (2002); The Sixties: The Last Journals (1993, ed. by L. M. Dabney); his notebooks and diaries, ed. by L. Edel (4 vol., 1975–86); memoirs of his daughter, R. Wilson (1989); his autobiographical Piece of My Mind: Reflections at Sixty (1956) and Upstate: Records and Recollections of Northern New York (1971); biographies by C. P. Frank (1970), J. Groth (1989), J. Meyers (1995), and L. M. Dabney (2005); studies by G. Douglas (1983) and D. Castronovo (1984 and 1998); bibliography by R. D. Ramsey (1971).