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Getting the Undulation

Benjamin Lytal: Willa Cather’s Letters, 20 February 2014

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather 
edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout.
Knopf, 715 pp., £24, April 2013, 978 0 307 95930 0
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... In her work​ Willa Cather celebrated heroism; in her life she collected honorary degrees, told her publishers which typeface to use, and stayed out of politics. When Sinclair Lewis won the first American Nobel Prize he said she should have got it instead. She was read by H.L. Mencken with ‘increasing joy’. She was also lampooned for writing in the style of the Ladies’ Home Journal, dismissed by modernist-minded critics like Edmund Wilson, and accused in 1933 by Granville Hicks, a ubiquitous critic then in his Marxist phase, of falling ‘into a supine romanticism because of a refusal to examine life as it is ...

Loafing with the Sissies

Colm Tóibín: The Trials of Andy Warhol, 10 September 2020

Warhol: A Life as Art 
by Blake Gopnik.
Allen Lane, 931 pp., £35, March, 978 0 241 00338 1
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... Soup canvases – one was of Beef Noodle – in a group show called The New Realists at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, a place up to then known as ‘the leading emporium of American abstract art’. When a collector threw a party for the artists on the opening night, Larry Rivers and de Kooning turned up only to be turned away by the host. ‘Gee, I ...

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