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Big Pod

Richard Poirier: How Podhoretz Dumped His Friends, 2 September 1999

by Norman Podhoretz.
Free Press, 256 pp., $25, February 1999, 0 684 85594 1
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... two editors of Dissent: the political theorist Michael Walzer and the literary and social critic Irving Howe. Though the attack on these two occurs in the Trilling chapter, it has no direct connection with any strains in his relationship with the Trillings. He had known in the early Seventies that both of them felt he was moving too far to the right, a ...


Stefan Collini: Edmund Wilson, 17 November 2005

Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature 
by Lewis Dabney.
Farrar, Straus, 642 pp., £35, August 2005, 0 374 11312 2
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... of the now lost ‘critic as intellectual’, those emblematic figures such as Trilling or Irving Howe who assumed their cultural inheritance in the 1940s and 1950s. Wilson, born in 1895, came into his own in the 1920s. It underlines his remoteness to recall that he had already graduated from Princeton before America entered the First World War. His ...

What are we allowed to say?

David Bromwich, 22 September 2016

... strictures against blasphemy. The introductory chapter of Blasphemy, by the great American legal scholar Leonard Levy, covers ‘the Jewish trial of Jesus’; it is followed in close succession, in Levy’s account, by the Christian invention of the concept of heresy and the persecution of the Socinian and Arminian heretics and later of the ...

Who had the most fun?

David Bromwich: The Marx Brothers, 10 May 2001

Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx 
by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 480 pp., £7.99, April 2001, 0 14 029426 0
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The Essential Groucho 
by Groucho Marx, edited by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 254 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 14 029425 2
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... tricorn hats would find its way into Finnegans Wake, according to Thornton Wilder, a formidable scholar of Joyce. ‘This is the three lipoleum Coyne Grouching down in the living detch.’ When told of the homage in later years, Groucho was well pleased and only a little sceptical. ‘Did a New York policeman, on his way back to Ireland to see his dear old ...

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