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Zachary Leader, 6 December 1979

Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright 
by Steven Millhauser.
Routledge, 305 pp., £4.95
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A Prize Paradise 
by Oliver Pritchett.
Eyre Methuen, 171 pp., £4.95
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A Revenger’s Comedy 
by Derwent May.
Chatto, 191 pp., £5.95
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... relation to the hoary chestnuts ‘Art v. Life’ and ‘Intellect v. Instinct’ is suggested. Oliver Pritchett’s A Prize Paradise, another first novel, is altogether more modest and familiar: a modishly spare and astringent satiric farce, in the manners of Waugh and Amis. Its hero of sorts, Christopher Sharp, works for Overseas Citrus, on the West ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... ritual before them. Charles gave his spluttering laugh. And it was so boring and pointless.’ And Oliver Pritchett tells Alexander Chancellor a middling good yarn (‘Perry’ is Peregrine Worsthorne): He said he’d just seen the most sinister man he’d ever clapped eyes on moving towards Perry’s office and was terribly afraid that the man’s ...

Life at the Pastry Board

Stefan Collini: V.S. Pritchett, 4 November 2004

V.S. PritchettA Working Life 
by Jeremy Treglown.
Chatto, 308 pp., £25, October 2004, 9780701173227
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... whose outcomes we find satisfying. For the greater part of his very long adult life, Victor Sawdon Pritchett seems to have been a happy man. Pritchett’s son, Oliver, later recalled that he and his sister grew up ‘in a word factory’. ‘The handwritten pages, covered in ...

The Cookson Story

Stefan Collini: The British Working Class, 13 December 2001

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes 
by Jonathan Rose.
Yale, 534 pp., £29.95, June 2001, 0 300 08886 8
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... The increasing datedness of the autodidact canon could itself become a handicap: the young V.S. Pritchett (though hardly working class in origin) dreamed of entering literary bohemia in the late 1910s, but ‘all my tastes were conventionally Victorian . . . I seemed irredeemably backward and lower class and the cry of the autodidact and snob broke out in ...


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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... his near contemporaries in Britain, it is tempting to try to see Wilson as a blend of Orwell, Pritchett and Isaiah Berlin (also writers around whom a fair bit of nostalgic commentary has clustered). But even that alluring amalgam doesn’t altogether catch him, and one element it doesn’t represent is the impression he gave even from quite early on of ...

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