I Thought of Daisy

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University of Iowa Press, 2001 - Fiction - 278 pages
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Originally published in 1929, I Thought of Daisy is the first of three novels by Edmund Wilson. Written while he was still balancing his ambitions as a novelist against a successful career in literary criticism, I Thought of Daisy marries Wilson's two vocations to create an unusual and revealing work of fiction.Daisy depicts the inner struggle of a young man who forsakes the bohemian world of Greenwich Village to seek his American ideal in the person of a chorus girl. Set in the 1920s, a vital period in Wilson's life, the novel is crowded with recognizable characters drawn from his contemporaries, particularly his colleague John Dos Passos and his lover Edna St. Vincent Millay.The preface and afterword by Neale Reinitz, editor of Edmund Wilson's posthumously published novel The Higher Jazz (Iowa, 1998), set the novel in the context of Wilson's development as a writer of fiction.

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User Review  - eadieburke - LibraryThing

This was a very interesting look into the 1920's life in Greenwich Village. The characters were very entertaining and enlightening as they partied on during the days of prohibition and American ... Read full review

I THOUGHT OF DAISY

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Best known for his literary and historical criticism (Axel's Castle, To The Finland Station, Patriotic Gore), Wilson (1895-1972) never gave up on fiction and verse. His first novel, reprinted a few ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Wilson roamed the world and read widely in many languages. He was a journalist for leading literary periodicals: Vanity Fair, where he was briefly managing editor; The New Republic, where he was associate editor for five years; and the New Yorker, where he was book reviewer in the 1940s. These varied experiences were typical of Wilson's range of interests and ability. Eternally productive and endlessly readable, he conquered American literature in countless essays. If he is idiosyncratic and lacks a rigid mold, that probably contributes to his success as a literary critic, since he was not committed to interpretation in the straitjacket of some popular approach or dogma. His critical position suits his cosmopolitan background---historical and sociological considerations prevail. He went through a brief Marxist period and experimented with Freudian criticism. Axel's Castle (1931), a penetrating analysis of the symbolist writer, has exerted a great influence on contemporary literary criticism. Its dedication, to Christian Gauss of Princeton, reads:"It was principally from you that I acquired.. .my idea of what literary criticism ought to be---a history of man's ideas and imaginings in the setting of the conditions which have shaped them."His volume of satiric short stories, Memoirs of Hecate County (1946), with its frankly erotic passages, was the subject of court cases in a less tolerant decade than the present one. It was Wilson's own favorite among his writings, but he complained that those individuals who like his other work tend to disregard it.

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